Who wouldn’t want a mysterious snail humanoid to play Kirby with?
27 Oct 2017 - 2:12 PM  UPDATED 27 Oct 2017 - 2:15 PM

A focus on the big J-pop developments in this week’s SBS PopAsia J-Pop roundup…

Snail’s House

Rising Japanese producer Snail’s House has built up a strong following at home and abroad. This is thanks to a cuddly take on electronic music where hard-hitting EDM elements are cushioned by chimes, 8-bit notes and all sorts of teddy-bear-soft sound, all celebrating the mundane (but pretty wonderful, if you think about it) parts of daily life. His accompanying imagery helps too, and the new video for his song “Pixel Galaxy” is a fitting blast of colour for his sound. Created by animator Speedosausage and a few others, the clip follows a woman leading a relatively ordinary life - well, with some after-work idoling involved - meeting a snail woman. It’s a charming creation, and has gotten more attention than any other J-pop music video I can find this week:


I guess this was just a particularly upbeat week in J-pop. Emerging Avex pop outfit lol shared a small preview of their next single, “Nanana.” I can’t think of a song from the five piece that hasn’t been the J-pop equivalent of a “free hugs” sign, but “Nanana” feels particularly “just smile, beautiful!” in how it plays out. It’s zippy, and features a hook comprised of the titular syllables, and it’s all about the joys of being young and savouring said fact. Which, you do, but I feel like a little cynicism would be welcome sometimes. Watch below!

May J.

Singer/songwriter May J. got in on the short-clip game this week with a snippet of forthcoming number “SIDE BY SIDE.” It’s a smooth number highlighting her pipes, and comes from her latest album Futuristic, out this week.

Goose house

YouTube Japan’s favourite covers outfit Goose house tackled one of 2017’s biggest surprise hits. Two members of the collective gave “Uchiage Hanabi” by DAOKO and Kenshi Yonezu a shot. It’s stripped down, but the pair nail the emotional core of the ballad:

Chart News

Huge week for a J-pop staple, and an emerging force. Boy band Arashi’s latest full-length recorded one of the biggest opening sales week for an album in 2017, moving well over 600,000 copies. With SMAP no more, it feels safe saying they rule over Japanese music, at least the male side. On the singles side, TWICE’s newest single “One More Time” debuted at number one by pushing over 200,000 copies.

Video of the Week

Emerging rockers CHAI - mentioned as a group to watch earlier this week - went to Hong Kong to shoot a video, and the end result is a charming snapshot of the quartet enjoying their time in the city, with plenty of food and hijinks:

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