I have recently got back in to Japanese culture, been a music fan this obviously involved listening to Japanese music. My main love is the J-Rock genre, although I do enjoy J-POP and J-Soundtracks. Yes I am just taking musical genres and adding a J to them. I thought that I would share some of my discoveries, this is probably more of a starting point though. I have tried to include links for Spotify, and Apple Music as well as Amazon where possible.
Ok so this is kind of where I started, I had missed the raise of Babymetal. If you have missed them as well, they are an awesome three piece. On the surface they are like any J-Idol band, 3 cute girls in cute (Kawaii) clothes performing complex and energetic dance moves. The twist however slightly implied by the name is that they are a Metal group. In my opinion they are not a Metal group in the classic sense, their lyrics and sound incorporate the typical J-Idol/J-POP sound but with a Metal flavour. I really got into Babymetal, they appeal on so many levels, the J-Idol/Metal fusion makes for a unique sound. They currently have two studio albums which have different sounds, the first more J-Idol , the second is more Metal.
Until a few months ago, I had never heard of Radwimps. I discovered them after watching the hit Anime “Your Name”, Radwimps where the band behind the sound track. With their very JRock sound they have quickly become one of my favourite bands to listen to not just as a J band but as a band. They are a four peace typical rock line up vocals, guitar, bass and drums. They have realised 9 albums since forming in 2003. The two albums that I have enjoyed are the aforementioned Your Name OST (original soundtrack) and their current studio album Human Bloom, form an exciting and interesting soundscape. Radwimps tracks can sound very different to each other, but still have the Radwimps audio signature.
Another band that I found using the related artist to Babymetal on YouTube was Band Maid. Band Maid are a five peace all female JRock band. As the name hints at, they dress in Maid outfits. This may seem a little odd to our eyes, but the Maid is a popular outfit in Japan with Maid Cafes been prevalent in Japan especially in Tokyo. Like Radwimps Band Maids line up is traditional rock, with vocals, guitars, bass and drums. Band Maid have a very rock sound across their 3 studio albums. They have a much more classic rock sound which is reminiscent of The Von Blondies, but of course in Japanese.
Again I discovered this band as a related artist to Babymetal on Youtube. WagakkiBand is slightly different to the previous more classic rock acts. WagakkiBand fuses Vocaloid (Synthesised vocals) with Wagakki (traditional Japanese instruments) and Western Rock music. This fusion makes for an unique, catchy and awesome (in my humble opinion) sound. WagakkiBand formed in 2013, and is composed of 7 musicians lead by Yūko Suzuhana. I personally love this band, the unique sound makes them interesting and with a Japanese twist that I really appreciate. I have been enjoying both their studio albums Vocalo Zanmai and Yasou Emaki, and very excited for the next album due out this year (according to Wikipedia).
A few others.
If non of the above take your fancy then you could always try some of these.
- Stereopony – Spotify – Not Available, Apple Music, Amazon
- Mutant Monster – Spotify – Not Available, Apple Music, Amazon – Not Available
- SpyAir – Spotify – Not Available, Apple Music, Amazon
On top of the artists, are thought I would mention some tracks that are really like, from some other J-Artists. These all seem to be Anime theme songs (shocking that).
Boku ha boku de atte (Intro Ajin Second Season) – Single
By Angela x FripSide, is the theme song from the second season of Ajin (available now on Netflix. This is a classic but very catchy J-POP sound, I don’t know anything about this band as they don’t have a Wikipedia page.
Ambiguous – Single
By GARNiDELIA is one of the theme songs used in the Anime Kill La Kill. Its another catchy J-POP sound but I like it. GARNiDELIA is a two piece act featuring vocalist Mai Mizuhashi (AKA MARiA) and producer Yoshinori Abe.
Not Available on Spotify
Guren No Yumiya
By mu-ray is the theme song from the hit Anime, Attack on Titan episodes 1 – 13. Again this is much more of a J-POP sound, with a rock influence to it.