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 2 of 2024. We sincerely hope you enjoy the new discoveries!
Cavalier – Luna
The five-piece rock band Cavalier hails from Ina City, to be found in Nagano Prefecture. The band has been active for several years, and has already undergone some line-up changes, but has not been idle at all, as the band has done quite a few performances and also released several singles and a mini-album. With the current line-up, after the addition of (ex-Enishi) guitarist Harukichi, the first single from 2024 was released, titled Luna and it comes with a music video featuring beautiful cityscapes. — Recommended by Francisca
Fallsheeps – Limelight
For the third EP by the rock band Fallsheeps, entitled Dunk, the four band members have chosen to produce a concept release where each band member contributes a song, which consists of writing, composing and singing. An interesting concept, as this takes them in all sorts of directions in terms of musical style, from pop to shoegaze to slowcore to guitar rock. It fits perfectly with the band, which has been offering a melting pot in terms of musical genres since the inception of Fallsheeps in 2018, with the base in guitar rock. — Recommended by Francisca
Ferret Noise – りんごは落ちる (Apple falls down)
Just last June, this solo project by Tsushimamire’s bass player Yayoi Tsushima was seen in the United Kingdom for a few shows, all to promote its second album, titled 見下ろすと、街 (I looked down, there was a town). The track that received a music video this week can be found on this specific album. In Ferret Noise, Tsushima does the vocals, keys, bass and programming to create the music and dives deeper into in the sonic spectrum in terms of post-punk. Curious what Ferret Noise will bring this year in terms of new music. — Recommended by Francisca
アンと私 (Ann to Watashi) – FALL DOWN
After releasing their EP FALL DOWN, it was finally time for the three-piece guitar-rock band Ann to Watashi to release a full-length album. Before this, the band had only had digital releases and with FALL DOWN II, they decided to release it on a physical medium as well. The album contains some songs that have been released as singles before, new versions here and there, as well as three new songs. The next steps have already been taken, as Kuso Last has been used as the (temporary) ending theme song for three TV programmes. — Recommended by Francisca
MILK TALK – SUBWAY IS A LADY (REMIX)
The beginnings of Milk Tank took place all the way in the United States, but the continuation of this music project takes place in Japan, with Tokyo-based vocalist and visual artist Q.i and multi-instrumentalist Hair Kid from New Jersey. After collaborating several times and producing several releases, the electro-funk duo released their self-titled album in November of 2023. This week the last track of that album, a remix of the in 2020 release single Subway is a Lady (there is also a music video for that song), received a music video. — Recommended by Francisca
あいかわ (Aikawa) – 生き方 (Ikikata)
The first time I watched this music video, I was waiting for the rest of the band to come into view, considering the typical band setup. However, the focus remained on vocalist and guitarist Aikawa. Not surprising, as this is a solo project with the young singer-songwriter showcasing his skills and storytelling with the help of support musicians. It appears that he is still at the beginning of his music journey, and this is his first music video for his original song sounds promising and hopefully will reach many ears in the near future. — Recommended by Francisca
脂肪バニ (Metabani) – ありがとう (Arigatou)
The latest music video from pop-rock band Metabani, formed in 2019, features a sweet song dedicated to their supporters—family, friends, and those they’ve shared good times with. They found it a bit embarrassing to say it directly, so it became a song. The band met because Mun and Mugi knew each other from high school. In 2022, the trio entered an audition programme in Nippon TV’s variety show Chou Muteki Class and got to release a song for the compilation EP as one of the most anticipated young artists. Soon after, Metabani became a duo until they recently managed to secure a new drummer to continue as a trio again. — 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.