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 couple of videos that were released in week 1 of the year 2022. Enjoy the new discoveries!
aoie us fear – 影踏み (Shadow tag)
Fronted by vocalist Nagisa, the alternative rock band aoie us fear started activities in 2018. After releasing an EP shortly after the start, the band has released more music such as a single and another EP as the most recent release. It is now waiting for a full-fledged album of the band, but in the meantime, the band has been providing the music lover aesthetically pleasing music videos. Since the summer of 2021, the band has officially become a four-piece. — Recommended by Francisca
STRAM – Swim
STRAM recently released an EP, titled SWIM/DULLNESS, almost a year and a half after their first album release, All Happy. The band has not been completely dormant in the meantime, between gigs they had some changes in the band line-up, so it was time for them to release something new to reintroduce themselves. Currently consisting of five band members, they still express the influences of goth, industrial and doom in their songs while blending post-punk and new wave. — Recommended by Francisca
Poison Pop Pepper – 風来坊 (A Vagabond)
The first album of the “sometimes kind, sometimes poisonous, sometimes exciting” pop music unit Poison Pop Pepper got released at the end of October last year, with the title 新元素/The 120th Element. This release is filled with, as the group explains, ‘elements’ that they have discovered through research and study. The three-piece consists of SniQ who is in charge of lyrics, composition, and vocals, AceK, a guitarist, and C. Nariwo, a versatile player who specialises in classical music. — Recommended by Francisca
東京フガル (Tokyo Fugar) – Fill me in
This is the fifth single by the piano rock band Tokyo Fugar. It took a year before the band shared a new music video on their YouTube channel. The Tokyo-based five-piece got formed in 2019 and to date has mainly focused on performances. But it is good to see that new refreshing and emotional music is still on its way, which makes it interesting to see what the next step will be for the rock band. — Recommended by Francisca
猫jealousy (Nekojealousy) – 鳴りそこない (Nari Sokonai)
All the way from Chikuho in Fukuoka Prefecture comes the twin vocal pop-rock band Nekojealousy, consisting of guitarist and vocalist Ayana and bassist and vocalist Konomi. The band started on the first day of January in 2015 and was at a certain point a trio but now the two ladies are rockin’ it as a duo. In the summer of 2021, Neko Jealousy released their first EP with five rock-sounding and catchy songs with straightforward lyrics through COME BACK RECORDS. — Recommended by Francisca
LuLLaby – RUNNER
The band members of Osaka-based indie rock band LuLLaby introduce themselves as a band without an identity and they do not want to reveal their faces, because they want to have the full focus on the music that they produce. But what is known is that LuLLaby started activities in April 2021 and that it consists of three members, vocalist Reon, guitarist Leno and bass player Yutaro. All three band members are also active as composers in the band. — Recommended by Francisca
Paparazzi Panic – ピエロ (PIERROT)
The city of Kobe is the home base of alternative rock band Paparazzi Panic which got formed in the autumn of 2012. Vocalist and guitarist Norio writes all the songs and the focus of the band is to create music with originality and combine it with poetry full of humanity and melancholy. For this video, the first one of 2022, the three-piece has collaborated with Osaka-based Paul Bedser, to create a fully animated music video that seems to sit on the edge of psychedelic and mystery. — 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.