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 41 of 2023. We sincerely hope you enjoy the new discoveries!
CANDYGIRL – WATERFALL
As we slowly head towards the winter season, alternative pop unit CANDYGIRL just released an electronic ambient track that can easily transport you back to summertime. Last summer, the music unit returned with their first new song in almost two years, titled EYE, this was followed up with a number of other digital singles. WATERFALL is the fifth single this year and features lyrics inspired by myths. Curious to see what CANDYGIRL will bring in the near future. — Recommended by Francisca
杏仁クルーエル (Annin Cruel) – 待ちぼうけ (Machibouke)
With the release of the band’s third album 決壊 (Kekkai) last August, which is the first album by alternative rock band Annin Cruel to be available throughout Japan, it is also the first album made with the current band line-up centred around vocalist and bassist Igarashi. The band has been on the up-and-up since 2007 and there was even a period when the Tokyo-based band members took a break, but after several member changes, things seem to be going for the better for Annin Cruel now. Described by the band as nostalgia and craziness lurking in the backstreets. — Recommended by Francisca
Yuko Araki – ‡Magnetar
As mentioned before, multi-instrumentalist Yuko Araki, who is interested in making noise music that is free from unnecessary noise, will be on tour in Europe this coming November with a new album, titled IV, and with this new release comes a new music video. The track ‡Magnetar was chosen for the music video, created by artist and VJ Jackson Kaki using motion capture and drawing inspiration from Ankoku Butoh. The music video was first premiered on the YouTube channel of the German-based online platform The Brvtalist. — Recommended by Francisca
デラックス×デラックス (Deluxe×Deluxe) – ブラックキャット・スウィング (Black Cat Swing)
In case you regularly hang out on TikTok in the corner of Japanese music, you might have come across this seven-piece rock band called Deluxe×Deluxe, affectionately known as Deradera. This band has been doing a nice job of creating a buzz on social media with their music, dances and (stage) presence and thought it was time for a song with Halloween spirit. Originally from Okinawa, the band moved their home base to Tokyo this year. They additionally released their first album 千紫万紅 (SENSHIBANKO) last summer. — Recommended by Francisca
Gill Snatch – サニーサイドブルース (Sunny Side Blues)
At the start of 2022 came the announcement of the formation of Gill Snatch, a three-piece band consisting of Takuto Higuchi, Ichi, and Kota Shimizu. All three young musicians have the mission to perform a raw band sound with beautiful melodies and a grungy alternative rock sound. At the time of writing, the band has just released their third single and second music video. Though they’re in the early stages of their musical journey, their potential shines through. — Recommended by Francisca
すごいバンド名にしたかった (Sugoi Band Mei ni Shitakatta.) – YRP野比 (YRP Nobi)
They wanted a great band name and they landed with the name Sugoi Band Mei ni Shitakatta. (including the period), a band from Tokyo that is described as a neo-comic loud band. YRP Nobi is a station located in Yokosuka, but where does the abbreviation YRP come from? The band tried to unravel this mystery by investigating this – which became the music video. (Answer: Previously it was just called Nobi Station, but since the opening of Yokosuka Research Park, the letters YRP got added to the station name). Secretly, this video felt more like a promotion for the station! — Recommended by Francisca
Tokyo Shoegazer – Open Air
A decade since the release of the release of their second release turnaround, Tokyo Shoegazer decided to revisit the release and re-recorded the tracks incorporating the wealth of experience gained by the band members while exploring new possibilities. Since their reunion in 2019, the band has been releasing new works and performing live shows. Soon they will be in Hong Kong for two shows. As the first date was sold out within three days, a second date was announced. — 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.