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 3 of 2024 (with a delay due to illness). We sincerely hope you enjoy the new discoveries!
飯田華菜 (Hana Iida) – ハタチ (Hatachi)
Hana Iida turned 20 on 17 January which the singer-songwriter has described as a milestone. To celebrate this milestone, she has written this song about the fact that she is actually not that mature, though she has grown mentally and physically. Besides, she has the contradiction in her of partly still wanting to be a child, but also wanting to grow up fast. She is full of dreams and has also come to terms with the reality that not everything can be fulfilled. She has wrapped up these struggles and contradictions in the music video. An intimate song, but most likely with a lot of recognition. — Recommended by Francisca
彼は誰時、(Kahataredoki,) – 銀色 (Silver)
While this solo project has only been active since the summer of 2023, the musician behind Kahataredoki, has been active for many years. His name is Eiden and he has been active with his band project Eventide, he has been playing musical instruments since a young age which led to his first band with Tetsu (with whom he later started the band Eventide), where he also took the opportunity to switch instruments, from bass guitar to guitar to drums. Eventually, he became interested in composing music. With his solo project, he has already released two EPs and it looks like, he has more new music in the pipeline. — Recommended by Francisca
The カンナクラブ (The Canna Club) /ラブリー(ちゃん) (Lovely(chan))
Formed in 2020, Fukuoka-based The Canna Club gained attention with their sold-out debut live soon after the formation. The band is described as a nostalgic rock band – with a mention that it is nostalgic like a first love – and their music is characterised by lyrics that are impactful and the guitar’s melodic yet expressive play. At the moment of writing, the three-piece has released several singles and two EPs. — Recommended by Francisca
ルルノネ (Rurunone) – 天跋 (Tenbatsu)
Looking at the history of the visual kei band Rurunone, particularly through their YouTube channel, you will soon see that this trio has been collaborating for some time. Officially launched just last September, Rurunone emerged after the trio had embarked on various (temporary) projects, one of which was YMCP – Yamon Company – which eventually evolved into their current band name Rurunone. Despite having released numerous videos, the band has yet to debut any material on streaming platforms or in physical formats. — Recommended by Francisca
サカナノメ (Sakana No Me) – また、明日 (Mata, Ashita)
The band name was not always Sakana No Me, but last summer the three-piece decided to change the band name from Shinda Sakana to Sakana No Me. After releasing a split single with hometown band Plump Lum (プランプラム), it was time for another new step for the Kanazawa-based rock band: a 5-track counting EP. It seems to be that the release is as hearty as two cups of rice with a can of tuna with the theme of daily life and how it might not be so bad after all. — Recommended by Francisca
WHITE SURF! – lamp & compass
Influenced by emo from the United States, as well as melodic hardcore and punk, Osaka-based melodic punk band WHITE SURF! has been hitting the road since 2018, producing likeable and nostalgic music and delivering raw and energetic live performances. Everything is done with a Do It Yourself mentality and all that hard work has earned them a gig in Guam, among others. — Recommended by Francisca
Invert Hourglass – Blind
This is the first release in 2024 for Niigata-based metalcore band Invert Hourglass, building on the single Peacebreak released in 2023. The band has been active for several years, previously under the name Curse of my hands, but since March 2021 under the current band name. With composer Koma at the helm, they integrate ambient and dark elements influenced by dance music and electronic tones into their metalcore sound. — 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.