In connection with my desire to fully keep up with the J-pop industry, I’m planning to do a weekly round-up of any new releases that have caught my ear. Some of these may have been covered on the blog already, but my hope is that this will become a one-stop shop for anyone interested in what’s new in J-pop.
With that in mind, here’s where you come in: I’m one person with one set of musical preferences, so please embed any other new J-pop tracks you’ve enjoyed in the comments so we can get a fuller spectrum each week.
*And just like I do with my reviews, I’ll wait until full versions of songs are available before posting them in this round-up. This will mostly apply to Johnny’s groups, who still limit the majority of their YouTube uploads to shorter, edited versions.
2023 Index: Feb 1 – Feb 18 // Feb 19 – 25 // Feb 26 – Mar 3 // Mar 4 – Mar 10 // Mar 11 – Mar 18 // Mar 19 – Mar 25 // Mar 26 – Apr 1 // Apr 2 – Apr 8 // Apr 9 – Apr 15 // Apr 16 – Apr 22 // Apr 23 – Apr 29 // Apr 30 – May 6 // May 7 – May 13 // May 14 – May 20 // May 21 – May 27 // May 29 – Jun 3 // Jun 4 – Jun 10 // Jun 11 – Jun 17 // Jun 18 – Jun 24 // Jun 25 – Jul 1 // Jul 2 – Jul 8 // Jul 9 – Jul 15 // Jul 16 – Jul 22 // Jul 23 – Jul 29
AI – Life Goes On
I like the soulful, throwback vibe of this.
BiTE A SHOCK – The Next
I don’t know about this new BiSH-spinoff group. I like the songs so far, but the vocals are very rough (which I guess is the point?).
Chen – Break Out
EXO’s Chen is pre-releasing song after song before his new Japanese album comes out in full. Break Out is aimed right toward those of us who love to see him pursue rock music.
Genki Iwahashi – Canvas
This is a big improvement upon his last track.
Kis-My-Ft2 – Tomoni
I wrote about this here. It frustrated me.
Koda Kumi – Black Wings
Residual affection for Koda Kumi makes me want to love this. Unfortunately, the song just isn’t me thing.
The Last Rockstars – Psycho Love (song of the week!)
They’re calling this their second single, so when the inevitable music video is out I’ll be able to feature it again. But even without the visuals, I absolutely love it. The intensity is so satisfying!
Madkid – Future Notes
I missed this video last week but it deserves a mention. This kind of guitar-led, anthemic track will always be welcome on my playlist.
Meik – Body To Body (song of the week!)
I wrote about this here. I liked it a lot, and it’s my single of the week!
NAQT VANE – Beautiful Mess
I don’t like this as much as the material on their debut EP, but the Hiroyuki Sawano production continues to hit. This reminds me of alternative 90’s pop. Her voice even sounds a bit like Dolores O’Riordan from The Cranberries.
Nonpy – Densen
This starts kind of slow but builds to something quite nice.
Octpath – Come Alive
This sounds a lot like their latest single. Simple, summery boy group pop.
The Rampage – Summer Riot
I wanted more from this, especially given the collaboration with traditional drumming group Drum Tao. The melodies aren’t quite there for me, but the groove is very nice.
WATWING – Falling For You
Funky, generic boy group pop. I’d listen to it in a pinch!
Wednesday Campanella – Mermaid
This isn’t as quirky as I expected. I like the brass and the summery vibe, but I wish the energy was heightened a bit.
XG – TGIF
I wrote about this here. I liked the beat, but not the song.
MAG!C☆PRINCE – Try Again (2019)
This is for those of you that love Sexy Zone’s Run. It’s written by the same composer and is very much in the same mold. A big, brassy, shout-it-from-the-rooftops anthem.