Starting this week, you’ll start to see a steady stream of year-end posts, covering all sorts interesting trends and developments in the Japanese music landscape, leading up to our songs and album lists. Though this isn’t an officially sanctioned year-end entry – look at these imaginary standards I’m inventing as I type!…I think CUZ ME PAIN’s Jesse Ruins easily takes the “Japanese indie artist who had the most success in 2011” award I just made up. The entire CUZ ME PAIN camp grabbed a bunch of attention both domestically and internationally, landing on blogs like Gorilla Vs. Bear and getting this feature in The Japan Times (full disclosure: I wrote that). Yet it was the Jesse Ruins project that had the most individual triumph, getting the most Internet attention and eventually having a record released on Double Denim. Now, the exclamation point – Jesse Ruins signed with Brooklyn’s Captured Tracks, and will release an EP and LP in 2012. Exciting news for sure, for CUZ ME PAIN and the Japanese indie scene as a whole.
To celebrate, Jesse Ruins released a “new” song called “Shatter The Jewel.” It’s not technically new…”Jewel” appeared on his split cassette with The Beauty earlier this year, and I wrote about it back in March. Which explains why I didn’t know Jesse Ruins and Nites were actually the same dude! Anyway, this might be old but “Jewel” came out right before Jesse Ruins got Internet-big so I think it is a well-earned revisit. The song itself strikes me as “Dream Analysis” in a cocoon, “Diamond” blessed with similar structure but not quite as mastered as “Dream Analysis” would end up. Listen to both to see how Ruins has been evolving all year. Listen below, and expect even more in 2012.