Asian Music Recommendations from September 2013 – Part 1

I think September was a good release for rock. I like rock. Yes, I do. I can handle a lot of rock variations…except for metal. I can’t really understand the joys of listening to a person screaming at the top of their lungs for three minutes. So…expect me to highlight more of the rock songs (or band songs) than anything else.

Japanese Releases

100 Japanese songs. Seriously. I’m only covering half this list of this playlist. The other half is Korean and will be covered in a different post. Then there is the Thai/Chinese/Taiwanese/Cantonese list.

#1 And this is totally a bias. girugamesh are number 1 because I love them so much. Their song “INCOMPLETE” is another excellent song from the band. I have a new rainy day song. No, the song isn’t about rain, but listening to an upbeat rock song really makes a rainy day better.

#2/#3 LUNKHEAD is a jrock band I had not heard of before. More’s the pity. I totally fell in love with their song 「閃光」(Senko). While “Senko” has a more haunting quality to it, the next song which is a recording from one of their lives is a great rock ballad.

#5 12012 (their name comes from a penal code, Google it) went from a really hard rock sound to a less harsh sound. But that doesn’t mean they still don’t rock it out. their song “THE SWAN” is epically awesome.

#6 GENERATIONS releases a very heavy dance track with “HOT SHOT” which I find addictive, but what really draws you in is the Tron suit dancing.

#8 knotlamp “Ashe’s Children” starts off all in English that is a bit difficult to catch as some of the word aren’t sung clearly, but the Japanese chorus really rocks.

#9 I hadn’t heard of Fudanjuku before, but it’s an interesting group. I don’t know if their concept is more of a tomboyish style or if that is more particular to this album. I do know that for some reason, I totally love their song “Dance Revolution”

#10/#11/#12/#13 Of all the songs from Yaida Hitomi’s latest album, I really like “YES or NO” which has a bit more of a rock beat.

#14 I don’t know if you remember me recommending Kerakera’s debut song from the Last Cinderella OST, but they are back this month with “Pretend Friends” which is a softer song and less upbeat than their debut. I love this song!!!! Their debut song was good, but this song is even better!

#16 Kazuyoshi Saito’s “Always” is a great and addictive song with a strong guitar melody. What can I say? I love guys who can play the guitar. Which I know I have said before.

#17 BUZZ THE BEARS 鳴りやまぬ歌 is a great song…which is made kind of funny when you see the vocalist’s faces as he’s singing. It’s a song with a variety of elements going from fast-paced to slow and then with a more ballady part. It’s a nice blend and doesn’t seem like it has too many different elements like some songs do.

#18 THE BACK HORN バトルイマ I really like the beat of this song and the vocalist’s voice. They mix singing with some parts where it almost sound like talking. It works.

#23 Tokyo Girls Style has an interesting group name. I’m not a huge fan of girl groups, but I do like their song “Get The Star”

Fly away, you can give me all your stars.”

#28 DaizyStripper “Derringer” – you know it surprises me how different Yugiri’s voice can sound. He has some songs where he has a really high pitch and other songs where his voice is deeper. I do love this band. The video for this song…a bit gruesome. Oddly enough the song utilizes a gun’s name in it’s title and we have a girl with a knife cutting in the video.

#29 I can’t choose just one song from TSUYOSHI’s album “Beautiful.” He goes from more soulful ballads, to pop songs, to R&B. He’s quite talented.

#30 Cure Rubbish is another band I have just discovered. You should definitely check them out. I really like their song “forever.”

#32 AYABIE is seeming to go in a more dance/pop direction. Not necessarily a bad thing. I’m happy to see more releases from them. Check out their latest “Natsu, yoru no yume hana to chiru.”

#34 BugLug “HICCHAKAxMECCHAKA” is a fun, fast-paced song. It always amazes how fast some people can sing…same goes for rapping.

#36 Taoruzu’s “Spine” is a fast song with what seems like a more Latin beat. I like the guitar sounds.

#38 myria☆☆’s “Cyan Sky” is a plaintive, soft song. Her voice is different, but not in a bad way. It works well with the song.

#39 Kariyushi58 “Shiozaki” is an addictive song with it’s “Shalalala”

#41/#99 Straightener’s “BLACK DYED” is an odd song all in English…I can’t say the song is complete nonsense…but the lyrics are definitely interesting and confusing. If they did not have the lyrics on the screen, I’d swear they were saying “white dyed shit” instead of sheep. I think I like their song “Cinderella Song” even more.

Odd and even
Dance in chaos
Stuck in the moment
What’s confusing me?

#42 Spitz has been around for awhile now. I’m not sure I ever paid too much attention to the band before, but they are awesome. I really enjoyed their “Chisana ikimono” (little creatures).

#44 yucat’s “Kotodama” is an awesome song with a rock beat. the PV for the song…no clue why we have a cartoon girl dressed in a goth loli style wearing cat ears.

#45 Won’t lie, actually haven’t really followed Kra. They are a great band, but for some reason I just gravitated to Alice Nine, the GazettE, D=OUT, etc. more. Their new single “Clown’s Crown” is awesome. I should follow them more. 😛

#46/#47 Koganecho Garam is a band that I hadn’t heard of before, but I like them. I can’t choose only one song of theirs to highlight as I love their whole album. Well…they are all good, but I guess I can say “Voice” is very dear to my heart.

#48 Tahara Maika’s “distance” is a beautiful melody. She does seem to have a bit of a nasally voice…is that the right term? Or rather it almost sounds like she’s singing while congested with a cold. She doesn’t sound bad at all, but that’s kind of like what her voice reminds me of.

#49 Nagareda Project – another band I haven’t heard of before, but I love their song “fake.” Even more interesting is that during most of this MV all the band members are wearing paper masks.

#51 Marumoto Riko’s “Good Mood Babe” is a fun and upbeat song that makes your head nod along with the beat.

#52 I fell for Punkerholix’s “Senchidorama” – it’s got a bit of a funky sound.

#55 NoGoD is another vk band that I don’t follow as regularly as some, but I have to say that I really like their “The Power”

#56 I don’t follow AKB48 all that much and I know Maeda Atsuko more from her dramas, but I do love her solo song “Time Machine Nante Iranai”

#57/58 I don’t think I had heard of Lead before, but I like their songs “strings” and “Green Days.” You don’t hear as much rapping mixed in with pop songs in Japan (not necessarily a bad thing in my book), but this is one group where you can hear some rapping. They do a good job.

#59 I actually had this song up higher because I do like it a lot, but it ended up getting shoved a bit further down the list than I originally had planned. Anfinit’s “Rebirth” has a very heavy rock beat and this vk band is one that does mix almost rapping in with their vocals.

#60/#61 Kawamura Ryuichi “Miss You” – I love this song. Enough said.

#62 I have no idea why but retro band Kishidan reminds me of Korean duo Norazo…I can’t quite put my finger on why that is…

#63 DuelJewel’s vocalist has returned! “It’s just love” is a great song for their comeback.

#64 UCHUSENTAI:NOIZ is a vk band that mixes a variety of sounds in a single song. You get some video game noises along with rock and what sounds like a reggae beat. The video game noises in “Corona” do get a little annoying at times, but overall, it’s a good song.

#66 I featured a Kamelo song (at least I think it was them) where they parodied a popular dating game in their PV. This time the band is taking on goukons (group dates). The song and video are both fun. They are good at entertaining. I wonder what it would be like to see them perform live?

#67 JiLL – Decoy Association releases a very beautiful song…however…the title…Is it really “Baby Daddy”? Makes me curious to what the actual lyrics are saying.

#68 Magistina Saga’s vocalist has a beautiful voice! I really like their song “Double Face”

#70 Taiwanese alternative rock band Mayday (formed back in 1997) joins up with Japanese pop/rock band flumpool (formed in 2007). I had to put their formation/debut dates just because they are 10 years apart. Anywho, the song “Belief” is in Japanese and it is a great collaboration between the two bands. I’d actually love to hear more collaborations from these two bands as I do love them both.

#71 Kawakami Daisuke has a very feminine sounding voice. If you weren’t watching him sing, you’d think you were listening to a woman singing. The voice is very interesting and the song “Amore Amore” is a great listen. Watching Kawakami dance at the beginning…I had to laugh as it just looked so…weird.

#72 Cho Yong Pil—icon of Korean music—gets a special shout out for the fun Japanese version of “Hello”

#73 “Footbridge” by Kimura Shinobu Band blends a guitar melody with a more traditional style of singing. It’s a beautiful song.

#74 I’m not a huge fan of very strong dance songs, but for some reason Lee Tegan (Korean artist active in Japan) with Over and Over has me drawn in despite it’s very strong dance beat.

#76 After discovering The Sketchbook only earlier this year, I am happy that they are so active so I can hear lots from them. “Ashita e” (To Tomorrow) is another great song by them.

#77 ayami “Through All Eternity” is a great song and I love the PV which really does encompass the lyrics and meaning of the song well.

#78 Shiina Yoshiharu has a fun rock song with “Well, then bye-bye.” It is definitely worth checking out.

#80 MISIA’s “Shiawase o Forever” (Forever Happiness) is a beautiful ballad and really showcases her amazing vocals.

#83 Kawai Kazunao “You” – the vocals aren’t amazing or anything, but I find myself being drawn into this song for some strange reason…

#84 TOKIONE’s “Singing In The Rain” – The song title brings to mind the classic song, but this song is nothing like that. It’s a great song with an addictive melody and I find myself singing along with the English portions. He’s got really good pronunciation.

I’m just dreaming of you now
The sun will shine so no need to worry
I wanna dance, dance, dance the music spins me round and round

#85 Shoko Aida’s “for you” is a beautiful song. Certain Japanese music videos are being uploaded with English translations which makes me happy. It’s nice to see that more for international fans who’d like to know the meaning of the lyrics.

#87 Drop’s “Sun” is a great song from a female band.

#88 Kana Nishino’s Love Collection album is filled with beautiful songs. It’s a best album, but is definitely worth a mention as it does collect all her wonderful songs.

#89 Shishido Kafuka’s “Ravukorida” is an intersting song with an interesting MV. It has an interesting blend of dance and rock beats.

#90/91 FUZZY CONTROL releases songs in both English and Japanese. They are really good. I love their song and sound and their English is very clear and understandable which wins bonus points. “What Are You Waiting For” is in particular an addictive song while “The way you decide” is a great rock ballad to start that moves into a more upbeat song.

#93 Plastic Tree “Doko” (Pupil). The vocalist of this band reminds me of someone…I can’t quite figure out who that is. Love this song and I like how they do the video for some reason.

#94 Visual Kei band Lycaon came out with a min album Masochist Red Circus. Their song “Psychedelic Jelly” blends heavy dance beats with rock. It works for them.

#95 Superfly’s “Eyes on Me” is a gorgeous song with great vocals and a beautiful melody.

#96 After some solo releases, AAA is back as a group with “Koine to Amazora” which roughly translates to “Rainy skies and love sound.” I do love this co-ed group.

#97 Synk;yet’s “Cross of Sin” is an excellent song. They are one of the vk bands that blend rock with some orchestral sounds.

#98 N.O.B.U!!! made his major label debut just last year believe it or not. His song “Dream of that Day” is a great song with a great MV to accompany it.

#100 The final Japanese song on the list is by band the pillows – “Happy Birthday.” I think it’s a strong end to a month dominated by band releases.


  • So many songs! I didn’t know Maeda Atsuko had a new song, I’ll have to check it out. She’s not an overly strong singer but she is easy to listen to.

    • I’ve just realised I’ve been hearing that song for a while, I just didn’t know it was her, lol. I think of it as the “beep beep” song!

      • lol, the “beep, beep” song? I’ve had that happen where I listened to a song over and over and didn’t realize it was someone I knew before.

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