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 48 of the year 2020. Enjoy the new discoveries!
Backdrop Cinderella – 2020年はロックを聴かない (I will not listen to rock music in 2020)
Formed way back in 2006, the band came together in Ikebukuro. Fast forward a few years to 2011, and they created their own independent label so they could have full creative control over their music and content. This new track is a solid ska-punk track, packed full of their signature chaotic energy but feels more refined than their previous tracks as it focuses on that metronome beat. Unfortunately, not a sign of an EP or album, but they just wanted to release this track. — Recommended by AlexD
マリナ (Marina) – hero
Singer-songwriter Marina is a university student and lives in Kanagawa. The musician has a bass voice that she combines with sweet tunes from her guitar. In addition to making music, she also has been active as an influencer where she designed story effects for Instagram which has been downloaded over 1 million times and she also active with vintage clothing coordination and hopes to be a clothing designer in the future. — Recommended by Francisca
Dr. Smokin’ Frog – ウェイスト・ランド (Wasteland)
Based in Osaka and started in the summer of 2018, making this band still kind of brand-new, Dr. Smokin’ Frog consists of four members and put out ‘old fashioned cutting edge’ rock, this is how they describe themselves, also striving for a unique sound. They have been putting out quite some videos, including live videos, to give you a good time. This music video is their very first and the song can be found on their first demo release. — Recommended by Francisca
GOOD BYE APRIL – 恋がはじまる (Koi ga hajimaru)
GOOD BYE APRIL are Sho Kurashina (Vocals, guitar, keyboard.), Takashi Yoshida (Guitar), Ayane Enmoto (Bass), Tsunoken (Drums). Their music is called ‘neo-new music’ that is rooted in Japanese 70-80s City Pop and new music, giving it a feeling of scenery and nostalgia. At the beginning of November, they joined Tokyo International Music Market (TIMM) to present themselves in front of an international livestream audience. In addition, they just released their third album, titled Xanadu (ザナドゥ). — Recommended by Francisca
Pince-Nez – Dirty Rolling
Pince-Nez are a four-piece from the Kansai region. They produce danceable and groovy rock music with African-American music as a big influence. Their first mini-album, titled Blowsatoshi, of which 100 copies were released in the summer of 2018 got sold out in a few days, in 2019, they released their second mini-album, Sakokudance. This year they could put a couple of digital singles on their name, including the latest, Dirty Rolling. — Recommended by Francisca
Jamillas – ワスレナグサ (Forget me not)
Active since 2017 with the city of Kashiwa as the home base, Jamillas are four-piece that incorporate elements of various genres in their music, such as alternative, emo, rock and punk. After releasing an EP and a digital single, the band released their second EP, titled A YOUTH NEVER CHANGE, in April of this year. It is now waiting for a full album by this band. — Recommended by Francisca
blue but white – Like a movie
Singer-songwriter Miku Sawai and vocalist Kanae Yoshii (ex-9nine) decided in the spring of 2017 to work together in making music with the theme ‘the songs we want to listen to at our own pace’. Together with a new generation of producers, this group, consisting of four members, makes a wide range of production work, accompanying plays and original music, for other musical groups, televisions series and also for themselves. — 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!