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 18 of the year 2021. Enjoy the new discoveries!
ITAZURA STORE – HINT
The Tokyo-based pop band ITAZURA STORE recently released their long-awaited first mini-album, titled Twilight Secret, after welcoming the bass player KAWORIN to the group. The four-piece got formed in 2019 and combines jazz, urban and classical music in their pop tunes and labels this as neo-cosmetic pop. — Recommended by Francisca
hakua. – 夜煙 (Yoru kemuri)
Hakua. are a five-piece rock band from Hokkaido with two lead guitarists. The band started out earlier this year and is fronted by hieda, who has a powerful yet simultaneously fragile voice. In April, the band decided to hold a free livestream and from that, this song was chosen to be their second music video with less of a vibe than that it is just a song cut from a livestream. — Recommended by Francisca
やおや (Yaoya) – いきましょう (Ikimashou, let’s go)
Influenced by a wide range of UK rock from the 60s to the 00s, the music of rock band Yaoya consists of songs with Japanese lyrics featuring acoustic guitars. On their Spotify page, it is stated that you should not confuse this band with a vegetable store as it is the same name they use for a greengrocer. Some members of this four-piece are also active in other bands, such as kiwi and Kidder Friendly Club. — Recommended by Francisca
カヨ (Kayo) – HOWL
Kayo are a five-piece rock band from Nagoya, active since 2016. Centred around vocalist Saaya, the music they produce has a wide range from heavy and dark to poppy and danceable vibes. the band has released a couple of singles, including a split with LAZYgunsBRISKY in 2019, and a mini-album. HOWL was the track that can be found back on that split release. — Recommended by Francisca
Brave Back – シークレットボーイ (Secret boy)
Started back in the days when the band members were still in high school, it is now 10 years later and this rock band has gone through several transformations. After leaving a label, they became a duo. They decided to continue as a demo band until in 2020 two new members were added to the line-up making Brave Back a full-fledged band again. From then they released two EPs, including Pale Blue earlier this year to celebrate the band’s 10th anniversary. — Recommended by Francisca
AOAZA – HomeComing
AOAZA got formed in the summer of 2018 by vocalist Saepo and guitarist Ruminass, soon after Minchu on bass and drummer Taro Kawamura joined the pop band. The band insist to self-produce everything. In March 2020, they planned to perform in Paris, but had to postpone it due to the pandemic, although they have visited the city and shared a soundtrack video with footage of their trip. Paradigm Shift is the title of their four-song EP, released in October 2020. — Recommended by Francisca
sweet rain – メルクーア (Mercury)
The Tokyo-based rock band sweet rain got formed in the autumn of 2018. Nicknamed Suirei, they describe themselves as an unorthodox rock band with a shoegaze sound. In August of 2020, they released their first mini-album, titled 最低な日々に終止符を (Saiteina hibi ni shuushifu wo), which was long-awaited. — 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!