Relatively new indie label Ano(t)racks don’t have many releases – they released Osaka group The Paella’s last EP, and dropped an indie-pop compilation titled Soon V.A. last week. Yet the latter upload is one of the best starting points for those looking to get into the current crop of indie-pop bands that have sprung up this year. Soon is an excellent compliment to the Moscow-Club-curated C86 comp from earlier in the year – whereas Moscow Club’s tape featured a lot of bands relying heavily on synths, Ano(t)racks’ latest features very few electronics (BOYISH’s song “Couldn’t Remember” features some keyboard, while a few songs use drum machines). This side of the Japanese indie-pop scene sound more observant towards the bands that inspired them, English groups that usually just featured guitar, drums and vocals. A lot of Ano(t)rack’s contributors get by with just those sounds – Osaka’s Post Modern Team deliver a simple but catchy bit of pop with “In The City,” while groups like The Paellas and Twangy Twangy continue to play to their strengths (the prior still sound like they are playing in an abandoned lounge on “Not So Sweet,” while the later just love jangling off).
Ano(t)racks also highlights some groups featuring women in prominent roles. Kyoto’s Homecomings provide one of the compilations best moments with the all-together-now singing of “You Never Kiss,” a song with sweet sounding vocals but some sharp guitar playing underneath them. Old Lacy Bed get whistle happy on “Coastlands” while Osaka’s Foodie closes out the album with a lovely bit of tight grooving. Get the tape here, or listen below.