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 52, to close off the year 2023. We sincerely hope you enjoy the new discoveries!
ハシリコミーズ (Hasirikomis) – 悪いようなことばかり (Warui Youna Koto Bakari)
We have written before about this three-piece rock band in 2022, at the time the band had not released anything for more than a year and for 2023 they did things very differently by arriving with three singles in the last quarter of the year, the most recent being released on 15 December: 悪いようなことばかり (Warui Youna Koto Bakari). The mixture of recklessness, emptiness, freshness, and exploding rebellious energy make it difficult not to notice them. So, what to expect from this band in 2024? First of all: performances. They are on the bucket list. — Recommended by Francisca
ローライラック (Low Lilac) – 輪廻転生 (Rinne-Tensyo)
A brand-new band, Low Lilac. Formed in 2022, the rock band is centred around vocalist and guitarist Yuito Tashiro. A radiant electro sound forms the basis of the concept the band wants to share with the world, which consists of lyrics that cast shadows between pop melodies. They have just released their very first digital single, and it can be seen somewhere as a celebration of the band’s first anniversary in addition to a self-produced concert, considering their first gig was in December 2022. — Recommended by Francisca
Jikou – マイナスヨンド (Minus 4℃)
Independent music label FURTHER PLATONIC, founded in 2008, has embarked on a mission to open a music venue in Mishima (Shizuoka Prefecture), the home base of FURTHER PLATONIC, for local bands and beyond to perform there and, above all, spread the music, as well as a rehearsal space, bar and a place to record music. There is already a name for this venue: ROJI. Currently, a crowdfunding campaign is underway for this new musical hub and, to give it some momentum, a new project has been launched with local musicians: Jikou. — Recommended by Francisca
Azure – evergreen
In the immense landscape of music, there are many who embrace the name Azure for their musical act, the focus now goes to Osaka-based band Azure which started activities in 2021. A few days back, alternative folk rock band Azure celebrated their very first album, Hello, dear my friends, with a release party. Meanwhile, the nine-track album can be listened to digitally; in addition to several songs previously released as singles, it also features some brand-new tracks. We are keen to find out what the band has planned for 2024. — Recommended by Francisca
Filmland – Clocks
Indie rock band Filmland was formed in April 2016 by three band members, who knew each other from light music club while studying at Kyoto University. The band is now a four-piece DIY band after the addition of VJ Takafumi Hino. They describe themselves as a one-of-a-kind band that plays alternative rock while stringing together the individual sensibilities of the indie scene outside Japan, eager to see what’s going on in the United States, United Kingdom and Nordic countries. Earlier in 2023, the band released their very first album, titled CHAPTER1.5, and then remained quiet for a while regarding music releases until they arrived with a new single this week. The song was written for the film 隣のサンズイ (Tonari no Sanzui). — Recommended by Francisca
NAGiSA – SINGULARITY
During the last week of the year 2023, the four-piece punk band NAGiSA released their very first album with 12 tracks, titled DAWN OF THE LOSE. To promote this release, they created a music video for the song SINGULARITY, created during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused the band to stop activities for a bit. They took the time this year to put out several singles (and music videos in conjunction) to reach a wider audience. They certainly reached the Netherlands digitally! — Recommended by Francisca
Pale diary – 真夜中彗星クラブ (Midnight Comet Club)
Pale diary is the name of a four-member band from Kanagawa that makes music with the concept “to always remember the afterglowing days that everyone forgets one day”. As a matter of fact, this song is the fourth single released by the band, but certainly not the most recent release. In the meantime, the band has released at least two singles and a full-length album in the summer, いつか死ぬ前に思い出せ (Itsuka Shinu Mae Ni Omoidase), filled with songs the band has produced over the past two years. — 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.