A focus on the big J-pop developments in this week’s SBS PopAsia J-Pop roundup…
Momoiro Clover Z
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are still a few years away, but ever-unpredictable idol group Momoiro Clover Z are getting into the sporting spirit a little early with the video for their latest single, “BLAST!”
The clip takes place at an athletic gathering called “Fukaya 2020,” a city in Saitama but one that’s clearly a stand-in for the actual Olympics that's coming in about three years time. The five members of the group compete in various sports, triumphing over the opposition in the process. The song itself fittingly works in horn blurts and a zippy pace, spiked by a few harder-hitting passages featuring something resembling rapping. Good for motivation! Take in the games below.
Many of Japan’s biggest artists remain a bit skeptic about the internet, thus finding Japanese music on streaming services can be difficult. Although there are plenty of good reasons to be a little cautious, music has mostly become something people stream, whether it's through platforms such as Spotify or through videos on YouTube.
All this is to say that J-pop superstar Utada Hikaru has a new song out in August called “Forevermore” and that you can watch a preview of it - but only if you live in Japan!
Unless you live in Japan, fans will have to sadly wait until early August to see the full clip.
2020 Olympics Promotion Song
Even though the aforementioned Momoiro Clover Z song might work wonders, the folks behind the event shared a new promotional theme earlier this week in order to start building hype for the games. Titled “Tokyo Gorin Ondo,” the theme is actually a (very slight) update on the 1964 Tokyo Olympics theme song. That gathering helped usher in Japan’s economic miracle and set the stage for where the country is at today, so the connection and what they hope 2020 can do is pretty clear.
SKE48 cleaned up on the Oricon singles chart, while Keyakizaka46 topped the album side. Good week for girl groups! Look for a review of the latter album next week on SBS PopAsia!
Video of the Week
Perhaps it’s just personal nostalgia for gaming consoles of yesteryear, but the F-Zero-inspired clip for electronic act Pa’s Lam System’s “I’m Coming” is this week's video of choice. It helps that the track itself is a high-energy blast of color, featuring one of the most joyous releases you will hear from an electronic number this year.
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