Music can be a beautiful distraction, and I think this year we’ve all needed a distraction or three. So, to give you more amazing music to sink your teeth into, I’ve got yet another list of JRock songs you need to be listening to.
This is the JRock that has put a spring back in my step as we all wait for Spring to finally show its face.
Want even more JRock goodness? Check out the Rice Digital Playlist on Spotify for a whole month’s worth of the best of the genre!
Eternal by Scandal
Stick around here long enough and you’ll know that Scandal is one of my all-time favourite JRock bands, so any month they give us a new single it is going to get included on this list. Eternal was released early in March and would be a departure for the band if it weren’t for the fact that their catalogue is so diverse already. These girls might celebrating their fifteenth anniversary this year, but they don’t show any signs of slowing down.
This song has an ethereal feeling at points, letting Haruna really show off the strength behind her vocals. Its impressive that Scandal still seems able to bring out new tricks with every release this far into their careers. Eternal seems to be their way of saying they’ll be around forever — and that’s fine with me.
Ai wo, Ima by BRADIO
Seeing that BRADIO have a new video out is always a treat. These boys bring the funk and the fun with every song. Even their slow jams have a bit of a jump to them, so I definitely wasn’t expecting this when I saw the video for Ai wo, Ima drop on YouTube. I knew I was in for something different when the opening shot was the lead singer, who is usually all smiles and bouncing afro, battered and bruised, singing a cappella into the wind.
This is a heartfelt, touching ballad that showcases Shingyoji’s vocal range, something that is often hidden behind the blaring horns and thumping bass. It is really nice to hear them do something so different, yet still feeling like BRADIO’s music. While Ai wo, Ima is a beautiful song with a great arrangement behind it, I do want to find out who hurt my funky boys and have a quick chat with them.
One Last Kiss by Hikaru Utada
Like many people, I was first exposed to the incredible Hikaru Utada through the Kingdom Hearts games, where she has been the only consistent thing about a series that prides itself on being incredibly complex to get to the bottom of. This single is a poppy, dance club love song, but her singing is too good not to include on this list.
What I really love about this video is how intimate it feels. Because it was filmed during COVID-19 restrictions in Japan, there is a sense of isolation that the filming gives it. With just one figure on camera at any given time, it feels like she is singing directly to the viewer. It’s a change from her normal style of video and a really clever way to work with the restrictions in place during the pandemic rather than fighting against them.
Got any other songs, JRock or otherwise, that you’ve been dying to share with the world at large? We’ve got a whole channel on our Discord dedicated to the music our community can’t get enough of. And don’t forget to listen to our new Rice Digital Spotify playlist, which is updated each month with more of the best music from Japan to get you moving.
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