New Japanese Vibes (66) – 仮谷せいら Kariya Seira ‘Colorful World’

For those in need for a tune to liven up your 9-to-5 weekdays, 仮谷せいら Kariya Seira will galvanise the party atmosphere with her new track ‘Colorful World’. The track is bursting with rainbow-coloured synths, pumping beats, foot-tapping rhythms and vibrant harmonies, all conducted by Kariya’s charming and zestful vocals. If today’s J-pop lacks any dazzling creativity, then Kariya is the antidote to the flat musical landscape with her appealing yet eccentric J-pop vibes.

Other Info/Context

  • Kariya Seira’s new EP Colorful World was released on June 15th.

© Isaku Takahashi



New Japanese Vibes (65) – 宮田涼介 Miyata Ryousuke 車窓 (At Car Window)

First post coming from a divided nation plagued by a Brexit hangover (apologies for such an introduction…)

While we can acknowledge the fact that Great Britain is no longer ‘Great’ (thanks to the uneducated citizens and manipulative politicians), no one can deny the enchanting musical offerings Japan has to offer, including宮田涼介 Miyata Ryousuke’s 車窓 (At Car Window) ‘Kurumamado’. Influenced by classical music, childhood memories and healing sensations, ‘Kurumamado’ sends listeners into a tranquil musical trance as it glides away with Ryuichi Sakamoto­-esque melodies and harmonies delicately played by Miyata’s fine fingers.

Other Info/Context

  • Miyata previously performed under the name Miche, and is guitarist of alt-rock band かろうじて人間 Karoujite Ningen.

© Isaku Takahashi

Picks of the Week #7

Putting aside the recent chain of events and controversies surrounding 川谷絵音 Kawatani Enon, mastermind behind Indigo la End (and sister group Gesu no Kiwami Otome), 藍色好きさ ‘Aiiro Suki sa’ (‘I Like Indigo Blue’) showcases the alt-rock band’s creative potential to great magnitude. The four-piece skips away with intricate drum rhythms, shimmering guitar riffs, electric piano harmonies and pulsating bass lines. The whole rhythmic vibe is lightened up by Kawatani’s dainty yet rich vocals.

  • Shespider – ‘Imitation’

It seems as though rock music has taken much of the limelight on my blog, so it’s time to dive into the vibrant sonic colours of electro-pop with Tokyo-based trio Shespider and their track ‘Imitation’. While the punctuating beats keep the rhythmic energy alive, the reverb-laden sound world, glittering guitars and serpent-like vocals intensify the track’s mysterious flavour. The track will be featured on their upcoming mini album Imitation early next month.

  • ya-to-i – となえるよ ‘Tonaeruyo’

Hidden within the P-VINE archive is an unusual number by three-piece band ya-to-i. となえるよ ‘Tonaeruyo’ (‘Chant’) is born from the creative minds of 山本精一 Yamamoto Seiichi, 岡田徹 Okada Toru (from 70s band Moonriders) and 伊藤俊治 Itou Toshiharu. Making use of the stereo field in spellbinding fashion, the track is a rich mix of android vocals, bright guitar licks, and styles see-sawing from post-rock to dance and ambient vibes.

© Isaku Takahashi

New Japanese Vibes (64) – LUCKY TAPES ‘TONIGHT!’

As the summer slowly approaches for some (maybe not in the UK), LUCKY TAPES brings some rays of musical sunshine with their new up-tempo tune ‘TONIGHT!’. Five months since they released their other new track ‘MOON’, the quartet announced a new album coming soon next month. ‘TONIGHT!’ sees them let their funk and soul personality loose with luxurious harmonies, carnival brass phrases, sumptuous strings, a vintage-laden rhythm section and melodious vocals.

Other Info/Context

  • LUCKY TAPES’ new album Cigarette & Alcohol will be released on July 6th.
  • Find out more about LUCKY TAPES in my blog post here. 

© Isaku Takahashi

Picks of the Week #6

  • Awesome City Club – ‘Don’t Think, Feel’

Illuminated by the colourful cosmopolitan life of Japan, Awesome City Club released their new track ‘Don’t Think, Feel’ in collaboration with global chain GAP. The song tugs the listener’s senses to dance along to the refreshing disco vibes, filled with dazzling strings, an array of jangling guitars, foot-tapping bass and drum lines, and led by atagi’s seductive vocals.

  • Taiko Super Kicks – 釘が抜けたなら ‘Kugi ga Nuketa nara’

Taiko Super Kicks are equally captivating live as they are on record. 釘が抜けたなら ‘Kugi ga Nuketa nara’ (‘If the nail has fallen out’) is one of many tracks featured in their latest album Many Shapes released last December. Also featuring extra vocals and guitar from singer-songwriter may.e, the Tokyo-based four-piece beautifully strolls through the song’s wistful melodies, evocative guitar riffs and vivid psychedelic rock ambience.

  • Super Ganbari Goal Keepers – プログレッシブな愛 ‘Progressive Love’

Super Ganbari Goal Keepers takes listeners back a few decades with their nostalgic track プログレッシブな愛 ‘Progressive na Ai’ (‘Progressive Love’). Based in Tokyo, the four-piece rock band recalls the vivid sounds of 60s surf rock with twangy guitars, up-tempo rhythms and tuneful riffs and vocal melodies driving through the musical motorway.

© Isaku Takahashi


Picks of the Week #5

  • Hearsays – ‘Talking Across The Room’

Gorgeous 70s/80s vibes ooze out from Hearsays’ music, including ‘Talking Across The Room’. Upbeat and tranquil in equal measure, the four-piece indie rock band based in Fukuoka fill an evocative sound world with reverb-laden guitars, dreamy riffs and harmonies, driving drum pulse and wistful male-female vocals, taking their listeners as well into the nostalgic musical journey.

  • ゆだち Yudachi – ‘(die staadt) Norm’

Music has the power to transport listeners to otherworldly experiences. ゆだち Yudachi coaxes a smooth, ethereal soundscape in their track ‘(die staadt) Norm’ from their first album 夜の舟は白に折りたたまれて The Night Boat is Folded in White. Filled with glassy synth harmonies, tranquil guitar lines, rippling crescendos and beautifully languid vocals, the track will hypnotise listeners in a blissful musical trance.

  • 宇宙コンビニ Uchuu Konbini – ‘Pyramid’

The intricate rhythms and propulsions of math rock and prog rock collide in ‘Pyramid’, a track by Kyoto-based three-piece “progressive pop” band宇宙コンビニ Uchuu Konbini. Above the precision-engineered rhythmic drum patterns, time signature changes, lush harmonies and colourful guitar timbres lies Ohki Emi’s feathery and wistful vocals rippling away with elegance and emotion. ‘Pyramid’ embodies the true qualities of post-rock awesomeness.

© Isaku Takahashi

New Japanese Vibes (63) – SUNDAYS ‘GIRL’S SECRET’

Tokyo-based rock band SUNDAYS injects fresh life into the Japanese rock field with their new track ‘GIRL’S SECRET’. Riding the classic rock locomotive is a male and female quartet, striding through with pounding drums that grow towards clamorous levels, voltage-charged guitars, sonorous bass lines, synth strings for contrasting colours and ふーちゃん Fuchan’s rich yet husky vocals.

Other Info/Context

  • SUNDAYS’ new mini album Watashi wo Ugokashiteiru mono will be released on June 1st.

© Isaku Takahashi