A focus on the big J-pop developments in this week’s SBS PopAsia J-Pop roundup…
Fear, and Loathing in Las Vegas
Let’s start off with something on the more aggressive side of the scale. Japanese rockers Fear, and Loathing in Las Vegas have a new album coming out in Autumn, and they shared an advance song from the unnamed-as-of-yet release. “Return To Zero” finds them in particularly no-pauses mode, the song built around a madhouse synth melody and growl-shouted vocals. Even though the bulk of the song is built for post-digital dystopia, they do add some sweet passages featuring some nice auto-tuned passages.
He’s still dabbling in the heavier electronic sounds that have defined his singles over the past year, but Daichi Miura renders those fest-ready sounds into something a bit more breezy on latest song “U.” It stomps, but Miura delivers verses that sound like he has a smile on his face the whole time, and even the chorus brings in sunshine. Maybe it’s the acoustic guitar strums lurking throughout the song giving this a lighter mood.
Pop trio Negicco have an interesting history, they started life as a group meant to promote local produce from their home prefecture of Niigata, but evolved into a sturdy outfit all on their own. The group’s latest “Ai Wa Hikari” is a sweet piano-based ballad, full of intricate little changes in the music and some of the group’s better vocal work. For Japanese rock heads, the headline might actually be that a member of celebrated group Kirinji wrote it. But everyone can zone out to the song, below.
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A crowded week when it comes to singles releases...new ones from Sekai No Owari, AAA and Suchmos all did pretty well, but were all beaten out by a joint release from boy band Hey! Say! JUMP (and sub-unit A.Y.T). A best-of collection from the band Spitz went to one on the album side.
Video of the Week
Budgets? With genre-hopping outfit Kindan No Tasuketsu, all anyone really needs is a green screen and editing software. This week’s new “Goodbye My Cinderella” finds new member MONICO singing in front of a vareity of backdrops, ranging from cityscapes to neon-lit visuals you’d find in a deep Tumblr drive. Just as good is the song itself, a melancholy synth-pop number full of skittery tempo changes.