With a large music industry such as Japan has, 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 couple of videos that were released in week 39. Enjoy the new discoveries!
ROTH BART BARON – 極彩 | I G L (S) (Gokusai | I G L (S))
Folk-rock band ROTH BART BARON will release their newest album, number 5, in October. The driving force behind the indie band is singer-songwriter Masaya Mifune. After self-releasing a couple of EPs and a demo, the band has been recording a couple of albums in North America. ROTH BART BARON toured Japan, the US and China extensively and played at big festivals in Thailand and Mongolia. The band was awarded the Japanese Apple Vinegar Music Award for the best new artist of the year in 2020. — Recommended by Francisca
otter hangout – 醒めないで、夜 (Samenaide, yoru)
After releasing a couple of demos shortly after they got formed in the last month of 2017, the Nagoya rock band otter hangout released their first mini-album in the summer of 2019 on their own label. The three-piece became popular in the live scene due to their straightforward and powerful live performances. The band likes to incorporate musical elements from other genres, but don’t really want to put themselves in a specific music genre. — Recommended by Francisca
pisica – 蛍灯 (Hotarubi)
pisica is the solo project of visual producer, VJ, designer, composer and keyboard player Keiko Kobori. In August of this year, the second album of pisica, titled passé et réalité, got released on the record label PROGRESSIVE FOrM. The music of pisica is an atmospheric journey through electronic minimalism and techno. Kobori is also active in other musical projects, such as electronica-post-rock-piano jazz unit keshiki. and phantasmagoric improvisation unit pisi. — Recommended by Francisca
odd five – 荒れ野のジャンゴ (Areno no jango)
After listening to the music of rock band odd five, it is clear that the five-piece loves to use to sprinkle ethnic music from various countries in their music by playing such instruments, from the traditional Irish instruments to Arabic music scales and Gagaku melodies. In 2019, the rock band released their first album, ANIMA and will release next month a mini-album with the title PAVILION. — Recommended by Francisca
Ulon – 世界の終わり (The end of the world)
Downer punk rock band Ulon got formed in 2019 and caught quite a bit of attention after releasing their first music video. Since all their planned shows at live venues and festivals got cancelled due to COVID-19, they started to work on a digital album. The release of their second music video has been published earlier than planned, since they received a positive response on Twitter from Fran Healy of the Scottish rock band Travis, one of the influences of the band members of Ulon. — Recommended by Francisca
POOL – 19Air
Neo-soul, hip-hop, acid jazz and trap are influences that can be heard in the music of the three-member art collective POOL. The group started its activities in July 2020 and will release their first single titled ONE on 28th of September. On the occasion of this release the song, according to the group their signature song wrapped with worldliness, 19Air, was given a video which is immediately their first music video which was crowdfunded. — Recommended by Francisca
7th Water Lily – 恩返し (Ongaeshi)
It is not often seen, a drummer who is also the vocalist of the band, but if you are intrigued, you should check out the three-piece rock band 7th Water Lily. After the three members decided to start a band in August of 2019, with WARP Studio in Nishinomiya (near Osaka) as their base, the band released their first EP, titled ink, in October of the same year. — 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.