One of the better stories to come out of the Japanese music landscape in 2010…especially from the Osaka scene, represent…would be bouncy outfit Ice Cream Shout getting some blog traction for the tune “Tattooed Tears.” This came with some bonus treats – the group’s 2009 album got some attention from blogs, and the various side projects of the band also got a little love. Most prominently would be lead singer Bob’s Cloudy Busey effort, the song “Pound Your Town To Hell” nabbing some exposure. You can listen to that song here.
Not as used to the blog spotlight would be Mikafika, the solo side of ICS member Mika Tsubakino. Like Cloudy Busey, Mikafika’s general sound doesn’t deviate to far from the primary band…but simply saying it’s a dumping ground for unused ideas would be far off the mark. As a solo artist Tsubakino plays twee-as-fuck, minimal indie-pop, often guided by ukulele and sparse percussion. Her most listened to track “The Room Of Pain” pretty much sums it all up – it’s a lightly swaying song populated with a cutesy beat and sweet vocals. “Between You And I” lives in a similar place, though slowing down even more and thus coming off as a little more melancholy. “Black Cassette” drops the ukulele in favor of piano and comes off as the most atmospheric track on display, a little haunting ditty. Get your daily dose of sweetness here.