The good folks at Damnably have already brought us one incredible record this year from Say Sue Me, and they’re looking to tap into my bank account with a new record from Japan’s Hazy Sour Cherry. I got hooked by falling in love with Tsuzumi’s voice, which sounds like a modern Belinda Carlisle, albeit with a bit more punctuation and sharpness to it. There’s a lot of steady blending of surf notes and rolling thunder rhythm throughout, but if you can’t just let the emotional vibe wash atop you, then you’re missing out on this absolute powerhouse of a pop jam! The group will release Strange World on June 15th.
Looks like we’re spending some time on the Japanese tip today, getting you into Nicfit and their latest single. The band operate with this sound that feels like you’ve taken the best bits of Fugazi and like-minded post-hardcore outfits, then mixed it up with modern twinges of psychedelia and pop music. At times the track can feel really heavy, particularly as it smashes to a close, though it can also feel fun and off-kilter immediately following. The track keeps you guessing, which makes for the best listening longevity. They’ll be releasing their Fuse LP in January via Upset the Rhythm.
The title of this song seems to fit the story of the latest album from Damon & Naomi with Kurihara; the whole of the record seems like a letter to their friend and collaborator, Kurihara. Here we’ve got dreamy vocals from Naomi, riding on the crest of waves, crossing that vast distance of ocean in order to reach the shores of Japan. I love how there’s a guitar that cascades across the song’s middle, like another shared memory among companions, being told by another narrator, though clearly tied to the storytelling of both song and LP. You can feel the song reaching across the distances, yearning to find solace in long-lasting companionship. You’ll hear this tune on A Sky Record, out August 6th via 20-20-20.
I’m kind of all over the world today, with some ATX stuff, but also tunes from Mexico, Canada and now Japan! P Necobayashi previously worked under the name The Poolitans, but has since changed the working band name to Lag Dream. This is the first single from the renamed project, but employs the same stylistic notes, namely synth heavy indiepop. It’s bouncy from the get go, sort of reminiscent of beach pop you get over here in the States, hitting at little dreamy nuances and obscured vocals. Totally on board already, and looking to get more!
I first got into Belinda May last year when they shared a tune via Fastcut Records, but this is the latest single from the Japanese outfit, paying homage to My Little Lover. It’s got all those crisp jangling guitar notes that make me swoon, plus it packs this huge hook-laden punch by using dual vocals to harmonize throughout the song. You could maybe drop in some heavier guitars and have a beautiful shoegaze sound, but as always, this bunch prefer to keep things wholly in the pop realm, letting melody and dreaminess lull you into sedation. Enjoy this one!
Japanese composer Jumpei Kamiya is undertaking an interesting album, not too far off from various projects that have bubbled to the top amid this global pandemic. He’s crafted an album worth of songs, allowing talented vocalists to write lyrics and sing on his tracks. The first single from the release features Yuga; you’re definitely going to want to stick around for the entirety. At first, it definitely has this sort of elegance, building this trance with Yuga’s voice. Just as the 1.5 minute mark strikes, the song quietly erupts, dropping in this slight atmosphere to sweep you up in the tune’s emotion. Just wanted to hit you with a striking tune first thing in the morning!
I first caught wind of Japanese jangle pop outfit Jan Flu via a collection of demos back in 2017. They’ve been quiet since, though out of nowhere they sent us their new Sports EP, so it seems only fair we would encourage you to listen along. “Lacrosse” is a standout hit; it’s the infectious sort of pop music that pulls us in immediately. I loved the bouncing rhythm of “Tennis,” and the way the vocals were delivered on that tune were particularly charming to me. Honestly, the more I listen, the more I’m just excited that this EP exists at all; its such a rewarding listen, I think you’re best suited to spend the rest of your day spinning these 6 songs!
I couldn’t imagine a better way to start your day then to plug this delightful track from Morningwhim, the next release from Fastcut Records. This Japanese quartet seem steeped in the history of pop music; they bring delighting harmonies from every corner of this track, taking the song’s title and shining most of the sun on the listener. The circular jangle that crafts huge emotional swells is omnipresent; it’s steadied and purposeful, serving as the perfect backdrop for the sugary drip of the vocals. Man, such a charmer. This song appears on a 7″ that will pop up on Record Store Day.
What’s left for us to say about GRMLN at this point? The dude has possibly earned more praise on our website than any other artist in the past. Recently, we were sent a great new track called “Half Moon Bay” which showed a move towards a more hazy, shoegaze sound. With this new single, “Do You Really Want to Stay?”, we see a delve even deeper into the haze filled, pop music world. It’s yet another hit in an ever expanding catalogue.
We are told GRMLN will be releasing a new EP sometime in June.
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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.
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