Japanese pop

Although I haven’t watched the film yet, I have listened to quite a bit of the soundtrack to the film Your Name by Japanese band RADWIMPS. In particular, the uptempo lead song Zenzenzense stuck with me, and was one of my favourite tracks of last year:

Perhaps because of this, Spotify has regularly been suggesting Japanese pop music to me in my weekly discover playlists. And I don’t remember where I came across it, but a couple of weeks ago I came across an article on Pitchfork about Neo-Kawaii band Chai, and I started listening to them:

Their album Pink is fantastic. (My favourite tracks right now are “Fried” and “Walking Star”.) Since then, I’ve basically fallen down a rabbit hole of Japanese pop, and it’s amazing. I have no idea what they’re singing, but when I listen to music I rarely listen to lyrics anyway. To me, the human voice is mostly an instrument — possibly the most versatile instrument of all. Not being able to understand the words can sometimes actually be a benefit for me, because the words don’t distract me if I’m doing work on something that requires verbal reasoning, like reading or writing a document.

So here are some of my favourites that I’ve been listening to recently.

I love this song and the video for it by FRIENDS, “Dance in the night”. Something about it reminds me of (sadly disbanded) Los Angeles group Big Moves

“In Our Life Steps” by NEIGHBORS COMPLAIN is deliciously funky:

New track “Dancing Fighter” by AWESOME CITY CLUB is bouncy and catchy:

“Lonely Lonely” by LUCKY TAPES is right up my street with its sweet and soulful hip-hop groove:

“New Era” by Nulbarich sounds like a mellow funky cross between Maroon 5 and CeeLo Green:

“Yumewomiyou” by HARU NEMURI is driving, hypnotic, and intense:

So I’m all about the J-pop right now.