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 42 of 2023. We sincerely hope you enjoy the new discoveries!
千里 (Chisato) – 神隠し (Kamikakushi)
Chisato is a singer-songwriter from Okayama who started her full-fledged activities as a musician in 2013. With the song Kamikakushi, Chisato had the idea of creating an atmosphere connected with the words shrine and Japan, resulting in a mysterious and magical atmosphere for the melody and lyrics, according to the musician. The song is in collaboration with track maker Takoyaki who visited the place Kazari in Tsuyama City which gave him a sense of nostalgia and feeling protected by something invisible. All this eventually translated into the song and also into the music video. — Recommended by Francisca
Pomodolo – DOLL
A few days before the month of October will end, two-piece rock band Pomodolo will release their second album, titled SPIRALE. Described as a kaleidoscopic rock duo, this band weaves together a diverse musical style. Consisting of vocalist and drummer Flan, who is also responsible for songwriting and music production, and guitarist Togawa, who also works on artwork, design and video production, they seem to have no problem producing enough sound to fill a whole stage with only two persons. — Recommended by Francisca
AINAKANNA – ORIGINAL
We recently wrote about AINAKANNA’s upcoming tour through the United Kingdom, but before that tour kicks off, the duo, consisting of vocalist Aina Ougi on keyboard and drummer Kanna, released a new music video. The song, ORIGINAL, is the theme song for the official professional bowling tournament SSS CUP 2023 and that is evident in the elements of bowling added to the video. AINAKANNA’s sound is best described as pop-rock, fusing aspects of Japanese pop and Western rock. — Recommended by Francisca
乃紫 (Noa) – ヘントウタイ (Hentotai)
Since 2022, singer-songwriter Noa has been sharing the process of her music creation on TikTok, gaining significant traction, especially among Gen Z’ers. Stepping into full-fledged music activity in 2023, she recently unveiled her seventh single, Hentotai, which was accompanied by a music video of the singer-songwriter dressed in a nurse outfit with the backing band in operation clothing, and a romantic story. The musician self-produces everything from lyrics, composition, arrangement, singing, video and artwork. — Recommended by Francisca
グラビティ (Gravity) – ジャック・オ・ドキドキ (Jack’o’doki-doki)
Considering Halloween (or Samhain) is just around the corner, it is always fun to see which musicians or bands are venturing out for a song and music video with a Halloween twist. We ended up with the visual kei band Gravity, which in addition to a song and music video, also has a Halloween tour planned with shows in Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka, so Jack’o’doki-doki fits right in. The five-piece rock band has been active since 2017 and has a variety of releases in their discography, soon to be joined by some more, including a DVD and a digital single in December. — Recommended by Francisca
Addicted To Red – Divine Violet
This is the fourth release by the Tokyo-based rock unit Addicted To Red, consisting of vocalist Asuka Kozuka and composer, arranger, and guitarist Tatsushi Hayashi. Asuka Kozuka started her music career as a student after she was invited by a friend to become part of a band. She is known for her powerful performances and for the theme song for DOGENGERS and activities in other productions. Tatsushi Hayashi is a composer, arranger, and guitarist known for his contributions to numerous anime, game soundtracks, and J-pop hits. (Think of Steins;Gate, CHAOS:HEAD, Heartcatch Pretty Cure!, Senran Kagura) — Recommended by Francisca
青色壱号 (Aoiro-Ichigo) – DOOM’S DAY ROCK
It has been a while since bassist and vocalist Ichinose released a music video for her solo project Aoiro-Ichigo, but there is a single on the way, namely DOOM’S DAY ROCK featuring three songs. According to the musician, they are three heavier, catchy and progressive songs and for the music video of the title track, a song along the lines of the cyber rock we already know from Aoiro-Ichigo’s music, is more focused on the lyrics, but is still creatively tackled making it effective nonetheless. Sitting still is not something Ichinose does, as she started a unit with Hi-chan of The Heena Cat in 2022 and she has also been part of heavy metal band Damian Hamada’s Creatures since this year. — 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.