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 43 of 2023. We sincerely hope you enjoy the new discoveries!
Leo Sharsy – Vessel
Leo Sharsy, an intriguing four-piece band from Tokyo, led by singer-songwriter Leo, about whom not much is known yet, but that’s because the band hasn’t been in the scene for a long time, doesn’t spend much time on social media, and appears to focus primarily on making music and performing (the other day they performed at ASK I FALL’s Moshin’ Tokyo). It’s not really a big problem, as all their music can be found on digital streaming platforms, most recently releasing their second album Leo Sharsy-2. Definitely a band to keep an eye on. — Recommended by Francisca
Batta – She was
This rock band, formed in 2009, has navigated through phases of disbandment, reunification, and member changes. In the current day, the band is operating as the solo project of vocalist and guitarist Tatsu Hoshino. The musician released album number four, 親愛なる臆病者たちへ (Dear Cowards), five years after the last album Prelude, the first album release after Batta (stylised as batta) became a solo project. The band’s discography reflects a diverse musical journey, from the 2012 debut album Game Over to the contribution in 2016 for the anime series JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable with the track chase. — Recommended by Francisca
東京初期衝動 (Tokyo Syoki Syodo) – はないちもんめ (HANAICHIMONME)
The inspiration to start the band came through the punk rock band Ging Nang Boyz, as the four ladies were fans of this band it brought the inspiration to start Tokyo Syoki Syodo. From there, they started carving their own path. After starting the band in the spring 2018, Tokyo Syoki Syodo launched their own label, Cherry Virgin Records. Snel daarna brachten ze hun eerste single uit, ヴァージン・スーサイズ (Virgin Suicides), wat flink de aandacht bleek te trekken bij het publiek. Tussendoor hebben ze twee albums, een mini-album, een DVD en 6 singles uitgebracht, waarbij de zesde single deze week uitkwam. — Recommended by Francisca
Jin-Machine – タイヤマルゼン (Tyre Maluzen)
In case you are not yet familiar with Jin-Machine, the band that describes themselves as Japan’s most entertaining visual kei band, now is really the time to get acquainted. Starting in 2005, the band has been active for almost 20 years, has gone through several band changes and also has quite a few releases to their name. But what kind of music can you expect from this band? Humour with the mission to make the listener laugh while alternating in terms of musical genres. The band’s new song came about after the tour van had a flat tyre while the band was about to leave for a live performance, this provided the inspiration for this song. — Recommended by Francisca
美根 (Mine) – 電波塔 (Telecommunications tower)
Mine Mineko, since the spring of 2022 she adopted the name Mine, has been a singer-songwriter active since 2017 and is the sole creator behind all aspects of her music that falls in the alternative rock category. Hailing from Tokyo, she is a versatile musician proficient in both piano and guitar, showcasing her talent in solo acts as well as full-band performances, with a focus on live shows. Her music embodies a unique blend of haunting and challenging imagery with lyrics that reflect a determination to persist even in a world filled with uncertainty and ambiguity. — Recommended by Francisca
挫・人間 (Za-Ningen) – セイント・ギロチン (Saint Guillotine)
In 2008, vocalist and guitarist Rio Shimokawa decided to recruit members for a rock band with the theme of ‘revenge against the human race’ in Kumamoto, this became the band Za-Ningen. After a few line-up changes, the band is currently a duo based in the metropole of Tokyo. The band has been described by many as an impactful alternative band known for the vocalist’s piercing cries and evocative lyrics that candidly address modern society in their own distinctive way. — Recommended by Francisca
透明少女 (Tomei Shoujo) – 哀詩 (KANASHI)
The band members of this visual kei rock band revealed in the summer of 2022 that they had started the band Tomei Shoujo, all of them have been in other bands previously, such as CANIVAL and MICBAM. Shortly after that announcement, they already managed to present a mini-album, a good introduction to what to expect from the band, which is in the direction of pop-rock music. But with this new single, the band seems to be trying something new, also in terms of looks they have gone from colourful to dark. It remains to be seen what the next steps will be for this young band. — 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.