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 released in week 46 of 2023. We sincerely hope you enjoy the new discoveries!
GOTCHAROCKA – Transparent butterfly
Last year, GOTCHAROCKA celebrated their 10th anniversary as a band; 10 years earlier, the announcement of this visual kei band was a surprise in which ex-Vidoll vocalist Jui and ex-Phantasmagoria/SPIV STATES guitarist JUN had come together to produce rock music with Toya (ex-Charlotte) and Shingo (ex-Sugar) that would transcend the boundaries of traditional visual kei. Now a trio, the band has an extensive discography, including a variety of albums and mini-albums, most recently last summer, a mini-album titled CAST, and quite a few singles, of which Transparent butterfly will be the most recent on 2 December. — Recommended by Francisca
Tenbin O – Happy Medium
In December, Tokyo-based band Tenbin O (styled as tenbin O) will release their very first album, titled Lack Of Heroism. The band has not been on the scene for long, in January 2022 the three musicians got together and focused on performing, but with Happy Medium, they were able to present their very first single accompanied with a music video to the world this week. The band interweaves a diversity of musical genres, from post-punk to modern soul resulting in alternative rock with an innovative character. — Recommended by Francisca
SUGGESTIONS – OUT OF THE BLACK
OUT OF THE BLACK is the first single in the new chapter of the Osaka-based depressive groovy metalcore band SUGGESTIONS, after several line-up changes they have been able to focus on new music. The band started their activities in 2016 and presents a depressive and cinematic sound influenced by horror films – this is also visible in their newest music video. According to the band, the newest single is the heaviest in the band’s history in terms of both sound and spirit. — Recommended by Francisca
The cold tommy – GIFTED
This alternative rock band has an interesting history, started in 2009 and the band line-up remained stable until spring 2016. In 2015, the rock band made a major debut via JUSTA RECORDS, a label run by Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra. They are now on their own label and this week, they released an EP, GIFTED, and it was also time for another music video for the title track. It is their first music in two years. In addition, The cold tommy joined hands with HUMANDRIVE to start a fusion band under the name COLDRIVE. They have been touring together and at the start of 2023, they released three singles. — Recommended by Francisca
Stone Flower Blooms – Gene
Behind Stone Flower Blooms are the Hori brothers, vocalist Tomoki and guitarist Kousuke.In the spring of 2021, they decided to change the band name from e.r.a to Stone Flower Blooms with the intention of producing indie rock with a 90s vibe. With this new start in 2021, they soon managed to release an EP, followed by many singles and an EP at the start of this year. It remains to be seen when the band will release a full-length album. The single Gene recently received a music video, but their most recent release is Diagram, on which the band incorporated influences from city pop and R&B. Especially for Gene, the brothers opted for a psychedelic and dreamy soundscape. — Recommended by Francisca
ミズニ ウキクサ (Mizuni Ukikusa) – 恋は瞬き (Koi wa Mabataki)
This rock band is also partly a family affair, Mizuni Ukikusa got formed in 2017 by bassist, vocalist, lyricist and composer Megumi Matsumoto and drummer Takkun, who are siblings. In 2021, the band became a four-piece with the addition of the guitarists Yonepi and Nichina. Later this month, the four-piece will release their fifth mini-album, Koi wa Mabataki, the title track is a song that portrays the moments when the monotonous routine is vividly coloured by the twinkling of love. The solid rhythmic foundation laid down by the sibling duo, in harmony with the vibrant guitars of Yonepi and Nichina, crafts an enchanting and aesthetically pleasing sonic panorama which is further enhanced by the robust yet fragile vocals of Megumi. — Recommended by Francisca
Neon Trip – マガイモノ (Magaimono)
Previously active under the band name Albatross, the four-member band has introduced a new band name, Neon Trip, as of this week. The Fukuoka-based band’s decision to coincide the rebranding with an immediate music release and music video for their third single is really a smart strategic move by the band. Now it is a matter of creating enough buzz and thus also reaching new audiences. While the basis of the new song is rock, the band skillfully crosses over elements of funk, R&B, blues and pop, reflecting the diverse musical influences of the band members. — 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.