Listening to Japanese Music – Underheard Artists


*brother sees my Youtube tab*
Brother: Where do you keep finding these bands anyway?
Me: Ah.. haha… (^-^;)

As some of you may have begun to notice, I’ve been posting J-music stuff a bit more frequently than I do anime related write-ups as of late. This I attribute to just plain being swamped in my last semester of Uni.

I’ve staved off my Winter anime pick-ups for a good number of eps now, ’cause in my head I’m like ‘those 23+ minutes could’ve been time I used for writing/revising’ and other guilt-fueled resignations (then again I am writing this post..) J-music is the only thing I keep myself busy with these past couple of months (with the occasional BokuMachi manga update here and there), as it doesn’t really eat-up too much of my time – that is until I go into the rabbit-hole of discovering underheard artists.

It’s fun playing wannabe music producer, sifting through lesser known bands. It’s almost rewarding even when you find songs that you end up really liking, from artists you don’t hear about as much as others. Sometimes you end up with guys that are just getting started (which is a nice opportunity to start watching ’em grow), and other times you stumble across two-three year-old songs that just didn’t take-off (then you realize that the band had already stopped making new songs altogether, and all you’re left with is regret for not finding them sooner xD)

I’m poking fun, but this sort of stuff really does happen; artists that don’t get caught up in the mainstream have a harder time reaching ears than those that do. I mean, even I would not have even heard of these guys if I wasn’t so dead set in finding them in the first place.

So here we are – J-music that you may not have heard as of yet (some of ’em are relatively new too), but might like~

(ATLANTIS AIRPORT – eiga no naka no dekigoto | events in a movie)

I feel like ATLANTIS AIRPORT should be more popular than they really are currently.

Their style isn’t really “out there”, and they could easily fit in the mainstream of things owing to their light rock style (see TokyoKaranKoron). I suppose it’s only a matter of time. Eiga no Naka no Dekigoto is a decent glimpse of what AA have to offer with their music – heavy piano stylings coupled with Sonezaki’s airy yet deceptively strong vocals. Their other PVs seem to have gained some traction over the years so they do have a following (that, or I’ve been replaying their vids a tad too much).

ポルカドットスティングレイ –  テレキャスター・ストライプ
(POLKADOT STINGRAY – Telecaster Stripe)

Time it took for me to fall in love with this song? 26 seconds.
(I’m a sucker for that rasp >///<).

Quite possibly my new favorite band name, POLKADOT STINGRAY have a nice sound going for them – and considering these guys are relatively new, it speaks a lot about their potential (in my opinion). At the very least, they seem to have a good mix of character and talent, highlighted by their front-woman SHIZUKU. Her voice has that nice middling tone that goes well with this kind of J-Rock (reminiscent of Yasuha Kominami), but because her voice it not-high or not-low, this song in particular plateaued at certain parts – which is exactly when the instruments start to pick-up, giving Telecaster Stripe a nice balance from start to end.

赤い月 – Vertigo
(akaitsuki – Vertigo)

AkaiTsuki is pretty much the second coming of ecosystem (who some of you may know from a certain Gintama/UtaKoi OP), albeit a way edgier ecosystem.

There’s something to be said about the energy that this track gives off. I mean, y’know it’s special if you can’t keep yourself from headbanging every time you hear it. Vertigo is a neat little mix of everything you’d expect to hear from a J-Rock track, presented in a way that’s not very J-Rock. It actually starts off sounding kinda intense and depressing – until the chorus kicks in (I’m pretty sure I’m failing to point out some very technical stuff here, but I’m way too unfamiliar with those to even try, lol). It would be at this point where I’d shower the vocalist with praises (I mean, she’s awesome), but yeah, I can’t for the life of me figure out how you’d read ‘玄 知真’ as a name.

モノクロパンダ –  空の泳ぎ方
(MonoQlo Panda – sora no oyogikata | how to swim the skies)

Imagine if bands could have siblings. Now imagine if amazarashi (TG Root A/Ranpo Kitan) had a kid sister. It’d be them.

At least for this track. Man, I didn’t even have this song on my original list for this post until I heard it just a couple of days ago. What I appreciate most out of this song is the build-up. I reckon it’s kinda hard to have an aggressive sound with an acoustic guitar but MonoQlo Panda (not a typo, this is definitely how they stylize their name :D) pull it off to a level of dread I haven’t felt from any band other than the stuff amazarashi put out. So much feels from and for this song, I can’t even.

(CICADA – door)

Saving the chillest track for last.

Ahhh, Japanese trip-hop (yes, that is a genre).. CICADA’s sultry synth is just too good. This is one of those tracks that you can just let play on the background while you relax and clear your head – never mind the visual of the band members jamming out in a public bath (even I don’t know what that was all about, lol). Then again, taking a bath while this song is on isn’t such a bad idea…

Find/hear anything you like?

Any underheard songs that you’d like to share?

Drop a line down below! 😀

4 thoughts on “Listening to Japanese Music – Underheard Artists

  1. Pingback: Listening to Japanese Music – Underheard Artists | Just my guilty pleasure reblog.

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