November always feels like both the longest and shortest of months. The nights are long. The days are cold. We’re stuck inside, but that just means we have more time to listen to music. While the radio is playing more Christmas music every day, JRock remains a genre for all seasons.
We’ve got some choice tunes for this month’s JRock roundup, and even more over on the Rice Digital Spotify Playlist. We’ve got some throwbacks and some new songs from old favourites, so buckle up and get ready to jam with us.
Plastic Love – Mariya Takeuchi
Sometimes the Internet does us all a great service. In 2017, a video went viral on YouTube that featured an eight-minute remix of a JPop song from 1984. 34 years after its original release, Plastic Love by the incomparable Mariya Takeuchi finally got international attention and, in November 2021, it got its first ever music video — all thanks to that viral video.
While this song isn’t necessarily the best-known single in Mariya’s catalogue, which includes sales of over 16 million records, it is great to see this amazing star get new focus and attention. It is as poppy as you could want, with smooth beats and a great hook to it. It might seem out of place on a JRock playlist, but there is nothing wrong with branching out a little bit. If you want a little throwback and fun in your music for the next few weeks, put this one on repeat.
yoake – Man with a Mission
There are few bands quite as dramatic and unusual on the JRock scene as Man with a Mission and their newest offering is just as big and bold as we’ve expected from them. Yoake brings a hopeful sound that we’ve heard on some of their previous work like Into the Deep while also giving us the powerful skate-punk energy we need when the nights start getting longer.
There aren’t many bands out there that can match the energy of Man with a Mission while constantly wearing wolf’s heads, which is why they have consistently been one that I’ve had on my radar. If you love your JRock with a little dramatic flair, they are a band to follow closely.
Never End – Elfriede
This band is a new one on my radar. I found out about them from our friends at JPU Records, who describe them as a great pick for fans of Scandal, and I am really impressed with this young band. There is a great pop-rock energy here with their newest offering along with some excellent musicianship on display. Vocalist Mikuru brings passion and fun to the song while Yu-yan serves serious control on the drums. But the biggest highlight is Ryo Yamabuki on guitar, who delivers an absolutely wicked solo at around the 2:30 mark of the video.
There is a lot to look forward to with this band, who were formed in 2017. At such an early stage in their career they are already making some great music. I can’t wait to see what they bring us next. Since they are represented by a UK label for their overseas and English releases, we can only hope that we’ll get to see a bit more of them over the next few years because they are one to watch.
That’s it for another JRock Round Up here at Rice Digital. Let us know what you’ve been listening to by joining our Discord or in the comments below. And don’t forget to check out our rolling Spotify playlist for the latest tracks to keep you moving this winter.
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