New Japanese Vibes (52) – Frasco ‘Dance’

Frasco’s new tune ‘Dance’ glows in its seductive production, blending the mainstream appeal of city pop, the futuristic imaginations of electro pop/house styles and the nostalgic vibes of soul and disco. It is sure to allure the listener’s senses in a magical sonic world filled with a groovy bass line, an array of dazzling synth leads and pads, sweet harmonies and feathery female vocals adding to the track’s delicate nature.


© Isaku Takahashi



SHOKO enjoys expressing both her Japanese upbringing and relationship with London. She is an artist in the broadest sense (from art, illustration, photography, installations etc), and music is just one of many mediums in which she conveys her charming personality.

Set in London’s District Line, SHOKO heads towards the botanical beauty of Kew Gardens in the song ‘The Flowers of Kew Gardens’. The track features in her latest album A Love Letter to London, and cocoons the listener’s senses with twinkling celeste-like harmonies, gentle acoustic guitar strumming and SHOKO’s hazy and delicate vocal melody later joined by warm trumpets raising the sunny vibes of the song.

Filmed out in the pure greenery of Primrose Hill and other various locations and vintage streets in London, ‘Hope and Anchor’ kindles another gentle vibe but with an added pop vibe. The harmonies evoke that of a classic bossa nova number, but instead of the syncopated beats of the Brazilian style, the track wades through a tranquil acoustic pop backdrop. And just before the music fades away, how fitting that SHOKO visits a pub named ‘Hope and Anchor’.

SHOKO also has a close affinity for Paris, a relationship that is encapsulated in her track ‘Mizuiro’ (‘Light blue’). The concept behind this song stems back from her teens days and her strong love of 60s French culture. The song carries a nostalgic scent with tranquil harmonies, gentle instrumental colours, and the hazy vocals of SHOKO drifting away free-and-easy on the horizon.

Other Listening:

  • World’s End
  • After the Rain in London
  • Soon, you will know it
  • Train song

© Isaku Takahashi

New Japanese Vibes (51) – Thank You Cream ‘Hegira’

We return to the exotic realm of Dead Funny Records as Tokyo-based psychedelic rock band Thank You Cream ignite their presence in the Japanese indie rock scene with new track ‘Hegira’ from their debut mini album Creamy.

The track wobbles through like a viscous swirl pushing through inch by inch. The band skilfully blends various styles and sounds (from razor-edged guitar effects, jangling riffs, folk-like melodies and a driving bass and drum fuel), coaxing a seductive vintage-coloured vibe that speaks for listeners keen to hear the bands of today embrace classic musical aesthetics.

Other Info/Context

Creamy will be released on May 11th.

New Japanese Vibes (50) – Yasei Collective ‘Lights’

Yasei Collective return with their new track ‘Lights’ from their new album Lights, radiating their multi-coloured modern electro-pop sound world to great magnitude.

Lights’ breathes a gentler vibe than some of their previous material, drifting away with vocal utterances, otherworldly electronic textures and stuttering through an ambivalent rhythmic impulse. The track gradually climbs towards a clamorous wall of noise before cascading down for a voltage-coloured guitar solo to trigger another sonic crescendo. Each member also took the time to shoot video footages under the concept of ‘lights’, showcasing their own interpretations and another side to their personality.

Other Info/Context

  • Lights will be released on April 16th.
  • Find out more about Yasei Collective in my blog post here.

© Isaku Takahashi

New Japanese Vibes (49) – CTLYA ‘WINTERREISE’

The new tunes from independent record label Dead Funny Records just keep on coming. This time it is the turn of Kyoto-based post-punk quintet CTLYA (pronounced ‘Catoleya’) to grab the attention of indie enthusiasts with their new tracks ‘WINTERREISE’ and ‘PERSONAL LIFE’ from their new record PERSONAL LIFE. The band draw strong influences from Joy Division, coaxing a post-punk, new wave sound world with an array of mellow and gritty guitar effects, synths that sound as though they came from high above the stratosphere, driving drum propulsions and android-filtered vocals in ‘WINTERREISE’, and sporadic vocal samples coloured with various effects in ‘PERSONAL LIFE’.

Other Info/Context

  • PERSONAL LIFE was released on March 16th.

© Isaku Takahashi

New Japanese Vibes (48) – PAELLAS ‘Pears’

PAELLAS’ indie rock outfit has been added with an accessory that is something a little bit different. Their new track ‘Pears’ brews a dark atmosphere that blends R&B, hip-hop and beach pop shades alongside their rock personality. While the foursome bob away with a groovy beat and funky guitar riffs, they equally indulge in an introspective mood coaxed by warm synths, electric piano harmonies and tender vocals flowing in liquid motion.

Other Info/Context

  • Check out my post on PAELLAS here.

© Isaku Takahashi

New Japanese Vibes (47) – And Summer Club ‘Surfer Girl’

With the bitter cold winter feeling like an eternity, ‘Heavy Hawaii Punk’ band And Summer Club inject a dose of summery vibes with their new tune ‘Surfer Girl’.

The Osaka-based trio evoke vivid picture of summer with bright electric guitars, jangling riffs, a mellow tone yet energetic vocal line and an infectious rhythmic propulsion that grabs the listener on a trip driving many miles per hour to the beach. Lasting just under 2 minutes, and ending in a vague, subdued manner, one may wonder what new adventure And Summer Club will take listeners to next time.

Other Info/Context

  • ‘Surfer Girl’ will be released on April 16th.

© Isaku Takahashi