New Japanese Vibes (139) – Half Time Old アウトフォーカス ‘Out Focus’

With the freak snow trapping much of the sounds of my surroundings, I was craving an up-tempo tune to break through the bed of white snow and quiet air. Upcoming rock trio Half Time Old woke me up with their pulsating new number アウトフォーカス ‘Out Focus’, which features on their latest album 発見と疑問 Hakken to Gimon. Thunder-bolting guitar riffs, ground-pounding drums and 鬼頭大晴 Kitou Masaharu’s razor-sharp vocals inject the fuel to the track’s sonic engine, which drives through with great conviction and dynamism.

Other Info

  • Half Time Old’s new album Hakken to Gimon was released on December 6th.

© Isaku Takahashi

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New Japanese Vibes (138) – 634noHz 知らない ‘Shiranai’

Struggling to dig out a new song to write about, Kichijoji-based indie trio 634noHz (pronounced Musashino Hertz) popped up in my video recommendations at the most opportune time with their new track 知らない ‘Shiranai’ (‘Don’t know’). A melancholic rock number infused with a soft shoegaze scent, the trio both cocoons and energises the listener’s ears with a sumptuous mix of tender vocals reminiscent of singer-songwriter Miwa, clamorous drums, cradle-rocking guitar riffs and a heart-beating pulse.

Other Info

  • 634noHz’s new EP Amplifier will be released on December 17th.

© Isaku Takahashi

New Japanese Vibes (136) – バレーボウイズ Volley Boys ビーチバレイ ‘Beach Volley’

The lagoon-like tranquility and shimmering harmonies of ビーチバレイ ‘Beach Volley’ by nostalgic indie band バレーボウイズ Volley Boys cocoons one’s ears in the frosty bite of late autumn/early winter. Traces of kayokyoku in the vocal melodies winds back the decades and blow a refreshing breath of air in today’s indie scene. Coupled with glinting guitars and drumbeats like a gentle heart beat, the track invites listeners to let their senses drop onto a comfortable bed and let the harmonies and melodies soothe the mind.

Other Info

  • Volley Boys’ new album Volley Boys was released on November 8th.

© Isaku Takahashi

New Japanese Vibes (133) – エンヤサン Enyasang 大メインクライマックス ‘Dai Main Climax’ feat. ACO

The perpetual and hypnotic flow of大メインクライマックス ‘Dai Main Climax’ by brothers duo エンヤサン Enyasang . Also featuring singer ACO, the track ripples in genteel fashion with synth chords and riffs that echo towards heavenly heights while being rhythmically paddled by the low-key drums. The vocals of Y クルーズ Y-Cruise, エンヤ Enya and ACO carry on the hazy ambience of the song before the electric guitar galvanises the voltage of the sonic field, only to be washed away by the cosmic synths that brought the song to life in the first place.

Other Info

  • Enyasang’s new album Dai Main Climax will be released on October 25th.

© Isaku Takahashi

New Japanese Vibes (132) – CAUCUS ‘What Have You Done’

Listening to ‘What Have You Done’ by CAUCUS is like having one’s senses submerged in an ocean of entrancing shoegaze spells and razor-sharp indie-rock colours. The track plunges straight into the deep end with roaring guitar and drums, but is beautifully offset with K’s hazy and hypnotic vocals. Their new album Sound of the Air will be released next month – for those who enjoy indulging in a wall of heavy drums, jangling guitars and ethereal voices, their record should be one to include in your Christmas list.

Other Info

  • CAUCUS’s new album Sound of the Air will be released on November 15th.

© Isaku Takahashi

New Japanese Vibes (131) – CRUNCH ‘Blue’

Swimming in a new wave and indie-pop ocean coloured with folk-like melancholia, CRUNCH embraces a solitary musical ambience in their new song ‘Blue’. Taken from their upcoming new album 天気雨 Tenkiame, the all-female trio from Nagoya drenches the stereo field in jewel-like guitars, distant glockenspiel tones falling like rain drops and timeless melodies and vocals led by 堀田 倫代 Hotta Noriyo.

Other Info

  • CRUNCH’s new album Tenkiame will be released on November 22nd.

© Isaku Takahashi

New Japanese Vibes (130) – 平賀さち枝 Hiraga Sachie 10月のひと ‘Jūgatsu no Hito’

Featuring in her new album まっしろな気持ちで会いに行くだけ Masshiro na kimochi de aini ikudake, 10月のひと ‘Jūgatsu no Hito’ (‘October Person’) by平賀さち枝 Hiraga Sachie is the latest indie folk goodness to serenade my short break away from the office desk. Slightly reminiscent of the hazy folk and pop vibes of SOAK (Bridie Monds-Watson), the young singer-songwriter from Iwate prefecture swims in a reverie with her cute, honey-toned vocals that wades through a field of dreamy mellotron harmonies, cradle-rocking guitars and gently pulsing drums.

Other Info

  • Hiraga Sachie’s new album Masshiro na kimochi de aini ikudake will be released on September 20th.

© Isaku Takahashi