This blog is currently so young (and I’m still so new to life in Japan) that trying to carve out an identity proves to be tougher than originally imagined. Should I strictly write about contemporary artists, or should I take a broader look at Japanese music, including older acts? And how does mainstream Japanese music fit into all this? The right answers is “all three,” but getting into a rhythm takes time. Case in point: still need to finish the “about” page, yikes. So, today I’m just going to list a few artists I’ve stumbled across recently that I’m enjoying, even though they may not have anything recently released.
jenny on the planet
This Osaka bands minimal slowcore has really stood out recently. jenny on the planet keep their songs sparse, the vocals taking center stage ahead of faint guitars and drums that sound like they could have been recorded from the next room over. The tunes posted on the group’s MySpace follow this slowly-unfolding pattern…save for the seven-minute standout “Still.” jenny on the planet devote almost half of the song to formless noise before falling into a dreamy swirl of voices that help “Still” drift away.
If you don’t have any Halloween plans, check out jenny on the planet at Nanba Bears this Saturday in Osaka.
Three-Weeks-Old Lovesick Puppy
That so-twee-I-want-to-vomit name doesn’t tell the whole story. Three-Weeks-Old Lovesick Puppy certainly makes cheery and snuggly indie-pop sure to get the anorak-set going, but the group adds an electro-feel to some of these songs to make them very danceable. If twee-pop could ever be suitable for the disco, Lovesick Puppy has the best chance at making it. Check out “Stop” in particular, over here.
Second straight indie-pop band, I know, but the fall is just the perfect backdrop to this stuff. Balloon Skirt doesn’t add any dance-flourishes to their music, but they know how to craft a fine bit of pop. The guitars on “Favor Cycle” (check it out and one other track here) sound so smile-worthy the bells thrown in seem redundant. If you like the patchwork pop of Three Berry Ice Cream, Balloon Skirt is bound to please.