With a large music industry such as Japan has, the second largest in the world, it is inevitable that music fans will be inundated with a profusion of good (and also less good) music from this country. It is impossible to keep track of this and write a review about it per video. But to avoid missing out on gems, it is time for a weekly list of new music videos from lesser-known Japanese musical acts that are definitely worth watching.
We are now looking back on a selection of videos that were released in week 36 of 2023. We sincerely hope you enjoy the new discoveries!
OTO MAYUMI – だって (Datte)
Following the release of three singles, Italian-Japanese singer-songwriter Oto Mayumi has released her fourth, a ballad titled Datte. The musician was born in Rome, attended Japanese school there and later moved to Japan to focus on singing, acting and dancing. After returning to Italy, she wanted to focus on her music career which resulted in several collaborations. Later this year, the rock musician will release an album which includes all four tracks she has released in the last year. — Recommended by Francisca
WOLVEs GROOVY – ココロノ氷 (Kokoro No Koori)
The three members of WOLVEs GROOVY all have grown up in different towns and interesting musical journeys, but came together in the metropolis of Tokyo to form the band in March of this year. In their introduction, the band name was directly explained: before the band they have been playing music as ‘lone wolves’ but got connected through a ‘groove’. With the band’s launch also came the band’s first release, an EP titled WOLVEs1. Steadily they have been busy with producing new music, including a few singles and another EP WOLVEs2. — Recommended by Francisca
君島大空 (Ohzora Kimishima) – c r a z y
While starting as a support guitarist for many musicians, Ohzora Kimishima soon decided it was time to make his own music. Last time we wrote about this musician (2020), he called himself a bedroom musician. Now years later, the musician is known for experimenting with taking sounds from different musical genres and weaving them into his music, making it interesting to find out which path he is taking with every new release. His newest song can be found back on Kimishima’s second album, titled no public sounds, which will be released at the end of this month. — Recommended by Francisca
Yutori – 会いたくなって、飛んだバイト (Because I missed you)
Yutori (stylised as yutori), a four-member rock band hailing from Tokyo, began their musical adventure in November 2020, with their formal formation date set for December 7 of the same year. Over the course of nearly three years, the young musicians have been able to put out many songs that have reached many ears and have sold out quite some live shows, continuing on a great path with finally the chance to perform at major festivals in Japan, such as Japan Jam. They have just released their second mini-album, with the title 夜間逃避行 (Night Escape). — Recommended by Francisca
机上の真空論 (Kijo No Shinkuron) – 青天の霹靂 (A Bolt from the Blue)
Meet Kijo No Shinkuron, the band that fearlessly plunges into the contradiction of hope and despair, ideals and reality, expectations and doubts. The band name Kijo No Shinkuron encapsulates the dilemma of pushing forward with belief in potential, even while doubting its attainment. With the release of Kijo No Shinkuron’s debut EP, titled 創造 (Souzou, Creation), they are showing a true reflection of the band’s essence. This band has not been active for very long, but has already shown they have a lot to offer. — Recommended by Francisca
星人図鑑 (Alien Files) – Earthling
Alien Files is the musical endeavour of rock musician Ryunosuke Ishibashi, aka Bashi, who seemed to have started this solo project last year. After writing the song Earthling this summer to introduce Earth’s life to extraterrestrial visitors who might visit the planet in the near future, he asked friends of his to work on a music video to present a complete package. The end result is a simple (but still intriguing) video, sometimes nothing more is required to celebrate the release of a new song, right? — Recommended by Francisca
つしまみれ (TsuShiMaMiRe) – 低気圧のせい (Pressure Drop)
Art psychedelic punk ock trio TsuShiMaMiRe, comprised of vocalist and guitarist Mari, bassist Yayoi, and Maiko on drums, can be called legendary, and they are surely not unfamiliar to AVO Magazine. The band has been active since 1999 and has released more than 13 album releases over 23 years and toured quite a bit in Asia, North America and Europe. With fun unique footage from their last tour in Europe, they have created a music video for their latest release, with the suggestion to keep watching until the end of the song. — Recommended by Francisca
Next week we will be back for a new list of new music videos to check out. But you can also look back to the earlier editions of this weekly article series for when you yearn for more musical gems! Want to read more about how this project started or check out the YouTube playlists? Click here for all the information.