GRMLN, currently out of Osaka, Japan, has received a slew of positive praise on ATH over the last several years. It’s crazy because we’ve seen the group go from a post-emo sound, to a more garage rock sound, and then even to a more polished Strokes style sound. Well it seems like we are headed back in time a bit as this new single “Half Moon Bay” harkens back to the beginnings of the band with a more dream pop/mellowed out vibe. Personally, I love it when a band becomes known for one thing and then throws us all for a loop with something totally different. I’m loving this one.
A new album is coming from GRMLN soon with a release date not yet announced. Stay tuned.
Last year Japan’s DMBQ unleashed Keenly via God? Records, Ty Segall’s imprint for Drag City. As album’s never die, the band have unleashed their video for standout track, “No Things,” hoping to keep their name in your consciousness. The video is as visually disrupting as the song is sonically; it’s filled with mostly live footage, spliced with various other bits that flash across the screen. Sound wise, it’s a barrage that begins with a heavy riff, akin to Black Sabbath, before blasting off into it’s own no-holds-barred sonic exploration. Quiet moments are hypnotic, giving you momentarily respite before the band tear right through your speakers. If you dig the record, it’s out now in the States.
It’s Monday, and it’s the end of the year, so this post isn’t our typical post, but worthy for indiepop music fans nonetheless. Japan’s Jan Flu reached out over the weekend to share a video of themselves recording their latest album. It took me all of about 13 seconds to realize that while I don’t know anything about the band, I absolutely love them. They sound like a prettier version of Literature, with a deeper vocal presence that actually gives it this indiepop timelessness. All they have available at the moment is this their debut After Image that you can stream on the Spotify HERE, but wanted you to just get ready for great things.
It’s time I take my adoration of indiepop sounds all over the world, this time visiting Japanese outfit Jan Flu. The video itself seems to immediately draw from American tropes such as the skateboarding along the beachfront or other images associated with Cali. Musically, there’s this driving bounce from the group, heightened by the crisp angular guitar lines that encircle your ears. The vocals have this deep tonal quality, which also works in contrast to the sharp tones of the guitars; this juxtaposition is the one that encourages you to twirl about with your arms flailing. This song appears on the groups debut album, After Image, which comes out on July 11th.
Few labels are out there putting their money where mouth is, talking of cultural change in the music industry. But then there’s Emotional Response, single-handedly guaranteeing that women in punk get all their deserved credit; they’re back again with their (by now famous) Typical Girls Volume 3 & 4…two LPs worth of female rock n’ roll in compilation form. Below we’ve got a tune from Japan’s C-3s off of Volume 4. There’s structural changes throughout the tune, some moments of early post-punk and other instances of swagger and aggressiveness. A few repeated listens and glorified hooks will emerge from the noisy commotion, and you’ll swoon over this release. The LPs are available now from the label!
As I comb my way through the SXSW lineup, I continue to find more and more bands to be excited about. One of those bands is relatively young Japanese quartet DYGL. Their songs have this great, almost vintage Strokes style sound to them which isn’t surprising considering their latest album Say Goodbye to Memory Den was produced by none other than Albert Hammond Jr. He’s a pretty big deal, or so I heard. If you’re looking to learn more about the great bands coming to town in a couple of weeks, hit the jump for an interview with DYGL.
There are some labels that go above and beyond to unearth gems, and those familiar with Jigsaw Records will surely give the label its due in that regard. Today they just dropped two delicious bits of bedroom pop from Japan’s The Sky Mata…though the tracks are from a bit ago. The project just dropped a brand new album (the band’s 3rd) in August, so check that out; however, our focus should be on revisiting the First Album, which is seeing a reissue via Jigsaw, and deservedly so. It’s an album filled with these quirky elements of pop you’re not likely to find in your mainstream listening. Go check out the whole album below…and grab it from the label HERE.
It’s always interesting to me how music filters and influences places all over the world, which I feel is the case with Power of Satan‘s newest EP. The Japanese band has just released their new four song EP on Bleeding Gold Records, and there’s touchstones of all things indie rock in the last few decades. I hear little bits of Pavement, but I can also hear a lot of that angular guitar pop that people give Flying Nun credit for; it might seem all over the place with those touchstones, but it’s really a well put together release. You can grab the EP for NYOP (which means throw some dollars their way).
Download: Invader [MP3]
I have absolutely no idea what any of the ideas on this song are about, nor do I really care. It sounds like absolute gibberish, but that’s probably because I don’t speak Japanese. Still, there’s something undeniable about this track, which came out in Japan a while ago. Meeks had never even made my radar until the reliable Jigsaw Records decided that digging it back up and releasing it Stateside would be genius. I tend to agree. Sometimes a song or a band grabs you, and no matter the language, there’s an inherent quality that bonds you with that. Today, I’m all about the Meeks.
Download: Meeks – Hello Goodbye [MP3]
Oh Internet, I thank you for bringing the musical world together. If it weren’t for our trusty WorldWideWeb I mightn’t have stumbled across this track from the Paellas, a Japanese act who’ve been making my Labor Day weekend a solid listening experience. The four-piece group is crafting music that definitely falls in the vein of bands like Ducktails or even Ariel Pink. Vocals hide in the background, while the rest of the music holds onto a dark angular tone. You can’t figure out if you’re supposed to chill or let dive into some active listening. Either way, you’re going to have fun jamming to this tune. It’s part of their Following EP, which you can pick up free from the group.
Download:The Paellas – Following [MP3]