I should make a playlist….

My full title is “I should make a playlist rather then a blogpost but here we are”, and that’s an absolute mouthful to be honest. It also is vaguely reminiscent of a song title by Fall Out Boy, but that’s neither here nor there. This is also the musical edition of my April/May monthly favorites. The cool blog post side of it will be up later today.

This is the first time aside from my end of the year picks, that I’ve had such a…. long list of recommendations. I guess that goes to show that I’m back into the swing of things musically. I’m much more comfortable writing about music again now that I’m really focusing on just listening to tracks individually.

I promise that next month should be a little easier on the reading/consuming my monthly favorites. So this particular style of post may make a comeback depending on release schedules and my own whims. Let’s jump into Visual Kei, and then Jpop alright?

BUCK-TICK startled all of us fans of them by launching their Youtube last month. They had the deck stacked with releasing a bunch of music videos from their past. My personal favorite MV and song being “Dress” which I’ve featured here. The channel was launched before ‘RONDO’ was set to release.

Which, I would have loved to feature ‘RONDO’ on this list; if I had been able to listen to it. BUCK-TICK has fallen victim to Youtube Premium and locked both those MV’s behind paywalls… unfortunately my wallet can only go so far. But I’ll settle for ‘Dress’ and the fact BUCK-TICK is back in the game, on Youtube officially.

Umm… yeah. Those who have been following me for awhile know the drill. Any and every time ACME releases something I will praise it and feature it. This release is no different, although the theme of the MV is pretty interesting. For those who are new, please give ACME your love and view or two!

Speaking of older bands, LUNA SEA released some new material as well! I was pleasantly surprised that the band ended up with a tie-in to Gundam nonetheless! I wish the MV was longer, but we can’t have it all. A fun discovery for the month and maybe it’s just enough to convince readers that I still talk about anime on this blog. 

Shellmy is a band that’s consistently put out solid tracks. While the title’s translation is, “If I become an adult I want to die” is admittedly off-putting but… I dig it. I get the vibe of the song and the mentality behind it. It’s not for everyone, but Visual Kei is one of the few genres in Japan’s music scene that explores such thoughts very literally and throughly. I have, unfortunately, caught myself singing the chorus aka the title, to myself in public so… I might need to scale back my listening.

Swinging a bit opposite, but still related to Visual Ket of course is the Raid. Sena’s vocals are much more cheerful, and the beat is easier to get into for this song. However, if you watch the MV the imagery is still off-putting, and again in a relatable sort of way. At least this gives a bit more hope then Shellmy’s song right? Or maybe that’s me trying to deflect. Still, it’s catchy and maybe exactly 2% more acceptable for me to sing the chorus aloud to myself in public.

I featured AAAMYYY as my poster girl for my last month’s round up actually. So picture my surprise to see one of my favorite indie J-music channels had a collaboration with her! Of course, my recent infatuation fueled my love for this song but AAAMYYY really is unlike any soloist in the game at the moment.

There’s something slightly off-putting about this track, but in an enchanting way. It’s very easy to sit down and listen to, letting yourself relax just a little. AAAMYYY might steal a spot on my end of the year list with this release…

Now, Bananalemon is honestly a group that I’ve been meaning to make an individual post about for awhile. I’m a bit surprised they haven’t come up previously. Their tracks are absolute fire. They have yet to release something I haven’t liked, and that’s really difficult for me to say. They are cultivating their own style and image in Japan and trust me, when they blow up you’ll regret not being in the loop earlier. So check them out now!

With the addition of Lety, formerly a member of Def-Will, these girls are back to a fearsome four. It’s worth noting they’re heading the states next month for a concert at SACANIME. If you get the chance to see them and meet them… know that I am already jealous.

Now, ‘Naked’ isn’t exactly the best introduction to a group. However, Predia is a group that has never shied away from having songs like this. In fact, having sexual implicative songs is kinda their thing. Before the uninformed start screaming; they are not JAV actresses. Nor are they underage. In fact one of their charm points is the fact they’re a mature, sensual group. Their youngest member is 27 and oldest are 32, which is pretty damn rare in Jpop.

I’ll admit it; my bisexual ass is digging this MV for the same reasons as straight men. However, it’s not just the skin and implications. These women are talented and confident in their delivery. Unlike the questionable vocals of some groups, Predia is filled with soulful singers who are nailing this concept and song. This song, trust me is an absolute ear-worm and you will be re-listening.

Another group I’ve had on my list to do an individual post about since their concept is probably the most unique and technically difficult to do; pointe dance. On top of it, they are completely DIY from concept to outfits. They are also the single reason I trekked all the way to Texas just a year ago to attend the chaos that was Anime Matsuri. It’s safe to say; I’ve loved these girls a long time.

Unfortunately, they had a mass graduation in April that left me shell-shocked. So now they are a trio with Hink, Ari and Uni holding down the fort. I had my concerns with ‘Witch Hunting Night’ but it was absolutely unfounded. The song is creative, and so Colorpointe that I can’t believe I doubted them. Of course, the music video is just as fun to watch as well.

If you have the time I do recommend finding them on Spotify, and checking out their new album “Choosy Museum Dictionary” as my top recommendation for the month.

Do I really even need to introduce this? Probably not, it is worth noting this MV was released 35 years AFTER the original release of the song due to it’s recent popularity. While a full MV would always be better, at least Warner Music is giving Mariya the recognition she deserves.

Not to mention, me and my friends lost it collectively while watching this.

kolme is a group that’s crept into my favorites without me really noticing. I mean that very seriously since I usually track my interests and infatuations much more carefully. The trio has been pretty active in the past year with a small name change, and a string of low-key releases. ‘Deep breath’ being no exception. I saw it in my recommended and didn’t even think twice about clicking, listening and liking.

If you don’t know Ringo Shiina, now is a good time to jump in. This woman has done it all and inspired your faves without you even knowing. I can’t really give more description then that. You can feel her talent radiate off her in her vocals and stage presence. This latest track just goes to prove that point.

You have no idea how shook I was when I started working on this draft. SIRUP had just dropped ‘FEEL GOOD’ on the 29th. Which is one of the few releases I can say that I’ve pre-ordered… ever. As a music fan you think I would do more of that but nope. SIRUP is that good.

I was actually going to feature the MV for ‘Evergreen’ for this month but…. if the man is going to hand me an MV for ‘Prayer’ then dammit I will feature it!  I don’t have the proper words but I fully endorse SIRUP and all he’s done in the past few years. He’s at the top of my list to see live, and I don’t think I can give more praise then that!

I think the title of this song speaks for me almost entirely, “I like it”. Or in my case, I like this. I like it very much. It’s fun, funky and  it got me dancing and grooving when I was cooking before drafting this blog post.

Being honest, I don’t even know how I started following Mukai Tachi but I’m glad I did. I need more of ‘I like it’ type songs in my life.

My man, Rude-a coming through. I think second to ACME he’s most likely to release anything and I will feature it usually. ‘Wonder’ was actually going to be an exception since at my initial listen on Spotify and with short version MV I wasn’t impressed. Normally, I hate the argument of ‘it take a few listens and then I liked it’ but that’s what happened. The more I listened in anticipation of his EP ’22’ which also dropped the same day as SIRUP’s album, the more it grew on me.

I’ve been a casual fan of Riri for awhile. And no I don’t mean our beautiful Barbados born queen, Rihanna. I’m talking about Arai Riri the Japanese soloist. Both are incredibly talented of course, and if a collab happened I would be 100% DOWN for it but today we’re focusing on Ms. Arai Riri.

I don’t really know KEIJU or Kobukuro Nariaki, but they were smart choices for collaboration. This really followed and contributed to RIRI’s discography rather then coming off as something sudden and forced. Not to mention this might the earliest summer banger I’ve heard so far.

RIRI has always delivered and “Summertime” is no exception. Now how to get her in contact with Rihanna….

If you made it this far congratulations! One post down for the day and hopefully you’ve walked away with one or two new songs or artists to check out! Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for my blogging/new article Monthly Favorites post for April and May too!

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