A focus on the big J-pop developments in this week’s SBS PopAsia J-Pop roundup…
Talent agency Johnny’s & Associates is known for being hyper-sensitive about online media. The company, home to Arashi and KAT-TUN, among other popular boy bands, is notorious for not letting album art, music videos or even photos of their performers appear online. So it’s big news that the group Johnny’s West will star in a Netflix original series called Blazing Transfer Students. A Trailer for the series dropped this week (watch below), finding the boy band - totally visible! - showing off their acting chops.
Outside of his work as part of the hyper-positive outfit AAA, rapper SKY-HI has a robust solo career going on too. He shared his latest song “Marble” this week. It’s a sparse number guided along by pleasant piano playing, which allows plenty of space for the MC to show off his rhymes. Listen below.
Fear, and Loathing in Las Vegas
For the most part Fear, and Loathing in Las Vegas work overtime to sound as whirlwind as possible. Fast guitar playing, hard-hitting drumming and a lot of melodic screaming. Latest number “LLLD” shows a slightly different side of the band, however. It still features a few hallmark sounds associated with the band; spikey synthesizer notes, screaming that sounds surprisingly pleasant, but moves ahead at a slower pace, approaching something tender for a group most known for springing all over the place. Check it out below.
One of the members of rising idol outfit Maison book girl, Aoi Yagawa, struck out on her own this week with the song “On The Line.” Produced by electronic artist Tomggg, who developed a name for himself in the Japanese community for cuddly takes on dance music, the song fizzes like a just-opened bottle of soda, giving space for Yagawa to stretch out syllables and play around with how words sound. It’s a good sound for her, and a nice show of variety from her usual dramatic pop turns in her main group. Listen below.
As hyped up over the last few weeks, pop-punk trio Hi-STANDARD returned with their first album in 18 years, and it shined on the charts. It debuted at number one, selling over 118,000 copies in its first week. The second place album moved just over 36,000, for comparison. Nothing works better on the chart than older groups returning with a much-anticipated full-length.
Music Video of the Week
Relatively new synth-pop duo Frasco have a new EP out soon, and they shared the title track a few days back. “Viewtiful” is an easy-going bit of electronic pop with a slight seasick edge to it, and it comes with a video that’s just nice to stare at. It’s a mix of eye-grabbing designs and visual tricks, running from eggs rolling across the screen to waves of colour. Watch below.
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