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 17 of the year 2021. Enjoy the new discoveries!
バターマーマレード (Butter Marmalade) – 二人だけのムード (Futari dake no mood)
The group Butter Marmalade make pop songs for music lovers (or how they describe it in English; freaks). The four-piece is formed in the city of Sendai and consists of a male and female twin vocalists. The group started out in 2019 and its motto is ‘timeless, evergreen music.’ In May, June and July of this year, they will be releasing three consecutive songs, this is the first release which is also their first digital single. — Recommended by Francisca
callow – レトロ (Retro)
Active since January 2018, the four-piece alternative rock band callow is mainly active in Tokyo. The band has released four self-produced music videos so far, this song can be found back on their first mini-album, which will be released in a few days. The band name callow has the meaning of an inexperienced and immature (young) person and the four-piece focuses on the current youth with lyrics that depict vivid scenes and emotional songs. — Recommended by Francisca
LD50 – abrasive
Formerly known as caustics, the four-piece indie rock band from Tokyo started activities in 2019. In March of this year, the band members announced that they will be active under the new band name LD50. Currently they are in the middle of releasing three singles for 3 consecutive months and abrasive is the second release of it. — Recommended by Francisca
Subway Daydream – Freeway
Alternative rock band Subway Daydream started with activities in 2020, so they can still be considered brand new. The sound of Subway Daydream is filled with nostalgia and reminiscent of ’80s and ’90s pop and alternative rock music. The four-piece, based in Osaka, recently released their first EP, titled BORN. — Recommended by Francisca
PUTAINS – Artist
We don’t have many French-speaking readers, so this might not reach many, but let’s say that PUTAINS is an interesting band name. The three-piece, based in Matsuyama City, started out in 2016 and has released a few singles, a mini-album and an album to date. They like to mix several music genres from Britpop to ’60s rock to city pop interweaved with Japanese and English lyrics. They present it as ‘good music’. — Recommended by Francisca
文藝天国 (Bungei Tengoku) – 生活をとめて (Seikatsu o tomete)
Bungei Tengoku are consisting of three band members, vocalist Haru, videographer Aika Sumi and lyricist and composer ko shinonome. One and a half year after the release of their first mini-album, the alternative rock band released their second album, 夢の香りのする朝に。 (fragrance of a daydream), in January of this year. They combine a rough guitar rock sound with highly expressive vocals of the mysterious vocalist Haru. — Recommended by Francisca
francis’ – Darling
The alternative rock band francis’ rebooted in 2018 after seven years of inactivity. The four-piece mostly performs in Tokyo and their sound seems to vary with each song with a grungy sound in one song changing from groovy to heavy and dragging sound in another song. The music video for Darling is shot in one go and is also a good example of how dynamic the band is. — 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!