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 4 of 2024. We sincerely hope you enjoy the new discoveries!
Re:lapse – angelo
We have arrived at the final chapter of the EP trilogy by Tokyo-based shoegaze/dream-pop band Re:lapse (stylised as re:lapse), on 21 February the disc will be officially released under the title re:lapse III.ep, in which they have translated the band’s true essence into four tracks. For the recording, they have worked with Junichirou Miyazawa (also active in Seventeen Years Old And Berlin Wall and AprilBlue) as a support drummer. We wrote about this band back in 2022, at which time the band had just released their first EP and the second EP, re:lapse II.ep, was on its way. The latest release seems to sum up their activities over the past three years. — Recommended by Francisca
Halbie – 灯り (Akari)
This four-piece rock band from Tokyo has not been active in the music world for long; the four ladies officially launched Halbie in March 2023. Although the band has yet to release any official songs, the four-member band has already taken the first steps to release live videos of their performances. This week marks the milestone for Halbie with the publication of their first music video. Keep an eye on Halbie as they are cementing their place in Tokyo’s rock scene. — Recommended by Francisca
TIDAL CLUB – 粗末 (Somatsu)
Formed in autumn 2020, this band blends 2000s alternative with emo and shoegazer influences, delivering tunes that will resonate with every emotion, with lyrics capturing the mix of daily frustrations, such as conflict, hope and anxiety. First TIDAL CLUB started as a four-piece, but since the end of 2023, they are a trio after the bass player left the band. After releasing a mini-album in 2022 and an EP in 2023, they will release their second EP next month. — Recommended by Francisca
ゆうべの星 (Yuube no Hoshi) – 何もない日 (Nanimonai Hi)
Active since 2013 under the band name Manpuku, the band recently decided to start operating under an entirely new band name: Yuube no Hoshi. To add to this, the band has also released a new album where they continue on the old footing, focusing on themes of memories and capturing their own experiences. You can’t escape nostalgic tunes. If you like the sound of this music video, be sure to check out the other music video they released this week. — Recommended by Francisca
Ritomo – city
After releasing several singles and a mini-album, singer-songwriter Ritomo’s first-ever full-length album, titled edge, was released this week. The album showcases the versatile musical style of the young musician from Shizuoka, mixing influences from rock, soul and hip-hop with a distinctive alternative flair and the use of her acoustic guitar. This release is Ritomo’s way to celebrate her 10th anniversary as a (live) musician and was pulled together through a crowdfunding campaign. — Recommended by Francisca
Enfants – デッドエンド (Dead End)
This new music video, the first in almost a year, goes hand in hand with the release of Tokyo-based rock band Enfants’ second EP. Looking at the titles of the EPs already released, the first was titled Q. and the second called E., the question is whether the band is trying to spell out a certain word with upcoming releases. Either way, the band seems to be doing well live, and has also gained a lot of attention outside Japan considering they even cater to fans who want to attend one of the special one-man concerts while visiting Japan. — Recommended by Francisca
あすなろ白昼夢 (Asunaro Hakutyumu) – あくまにズッキュン (Zukkyun to Devil)
In the spring of 2019, a quirky trio decided to form a band. Nowadays the band is a four-piece and they have been dubbed as the next generation of Osaka’s garage sound scene. They are mainly active with performances in the Kansai region and they have put out several singles and a mini-album. A second mini-album is on the way. The band members like to create songs that make them feel like they are giving away the flesh of their own bodies, evoking intense emotions and experiences. — 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.