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 29 of the year 2022, but published a little later due to attending HYPER JAPAN Festival 2022. Enjoy the new discoveries!
Atomic Skipper – ブルー・シー・ブルー (Blue sea blue)
The second of Atomic Skipper’s three consecutive releases, the single Blue sea blue, is the band’s most recent work and a tune that might make you think of the summer. To make it complete, the band has now published a video for the track that, as would be expected, focuses on the colour blue. Songs by Atomic Skipper have an excellent flow because of Nakyano’s expressive singing and the endearing lyrics. The rock group from Hamamatsu has been active since the spring of 2014 and to date has put out a number of demos, EPs, and two mini-albums. — Recommended by Francisca
エルスウェア紀行 (Elsewhere Kikou) – ムーンドライバー (Moon Driver)
We have spoken about the duo Elsewhere Kikou before, thus it was time to bring them back into the spotlight. The band’s sound is transformed by the individual musical backgrounds of the duo, which combines black music, progressive rock, folk, punk, and a touch of 70s city pop. This makes it a unique sound when combined with the poetic lyrics. Since the group’s rebirth under its present moniker, Elsewhere Kikou released one full album and six singles. — Recommended by Francisca
DURAN – Shades of Night
Duran, a contemporary rock musician who was born in Japan to a Spanish-Filipino father and a Japanese mother and was raised in the Philippines, began playing music at a young age under his father’s influence. Duran decided to launch his solo career in 2018 after being engaged in various bands and serving as a support musician for well-known musicians. He has so far put out two albums, and the most recent song featured both of his parents playing instruments. Of course, there is a lot more to say about this intriguing musician, but the best suggestion is to experience the music. — Recommended by Francisca
GARUDA – POSER
Last weekend, GARUDA conquered HYPER JAPAN Festival 2022, but before she stood on that stage in London, she released brand-new music. And with new music, to specific her first digital single, a new music video is usually to be expected. GARUDA is the name of Yuffie Sakamura’s dark industrial gothic side project that she started in 2017, she is also active in the idol group MELON BATAKE A GO GO (they released a new video as well). As GARUDA she is recognisable by her plague mask, dark angel wings, and her very distinctive baton which is decorated with nails. — Recommended by Francisca
SigarDown – こんな日々が夢だったとして (If only these days were a dream)
Tokyo-based indie band SigarDown got formed in the summer of 2018 and is centred around vocalist Tokutaro, who is in charge of the music and lyrics. Described as an alternative rock with elements of 90s emo, post-hardcore, and indie rock, they released a demo before releasing their first single just recently as part of three consecutive releases, four years after they were established. Their primary focus seems to be on live performances. — Recommended by Francisca
The Eighty Ones – 手紙 (Tegami)
The Eighty Ones are a psychedelic indie rock band from Tokyo formed in 2017. After two years, the four-piece deemed it was time to release a new music video, for the song Tegami (letter). This resulted in an atmospheric video for a melancholy tune that was filmed in a forest and which concluded on a beach where waves frequently break, with the vocalist being the only person wearing anything other than all-black making it intriguing. The group has so far put out a mini-album and a number of (digital) singles. — Recommended by Francisca
のうじょうりえ (Rie Nojo) – 人間らしい暮らし (Ningen Rashii Kurashi)
Rie Nojo is known as the queen of Koenji, because of her love for the area, but you can also see her performing there in live venues, as well as on the street with her acoustic guitar. Rie began playing the guitar in the summer of 2014, and she has been working as a singer-songwriter since the beginning of 2016. Since 2017, she has been giving special one-woman live shows on the day of her birthday, on 17 December. According to Rie’s website, she views herself as an ordinary person and aspires to live the way that is depicted in the music video. — 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.