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Metropolis Japan

Metropolis Japan

June wasn’t just marked by harsh weather conditions and surprising municipal elections, it was also a month of exciting new film releases from all over Japan. Metropolis favorites Nene and Awich kicked off the summer with a new collaboration, and psychedelic rock mainstays HAPPY kicked off the season with their long-awaited fourth album. mei ehara gave us a taste of an upcoming full-length, and newcomer synju gave us a promising debut album. Keep up with the Tokyo music scene with our new June 2024 Spotify playlist Hereand check out some of our favorite versions below.

mei ehara – Mada Hayai Kudamono

Multi-disciplinary artist and writer mei ehara released her new single “まだ早い果物” (Mada Hayai Kudamono) in June. Having independently released five albums between 2013 and 2015, the Aichi-born musician rose to prominence in 2020 after joining trend-setting indie label KAKUBARHYTHM. Since then, she has further increased her popularity by collaborating with notable local and international artists such as Faye Webster and Cornelius. The new track, her first in 18 months, comes ahead of her upcoming full-length album, which is expected to be released later this year. It also comes ahead of her recently announced first U.S. tour, where she will support Faye Webster at a series of shows along the West Coast.

HAPPY – Sunset

Fans of psychedelic rock were rewarded last month with the release of Kanagawa natives HAPPY’s first full-length album in five years. Originally from Kyoto, the five-piece band first formed in 2012 and quickly gained a following, releasing two albums and two EPs between 2014 and 2019. The band, who rejected offers from major labels in favor of creative control, relocated to Kanagawa in 2020. The band set up a home studio there during the pandemic and began working on Ancient Moods The Mahollova Mindtheir latest release. The album sees the band further their experimental sound, adding traditional instruments such as the taishōgoto, lyre, shruti box and bansuri to their repertoire. The 12-track album features nine new tracks and three previously released tracks, including the meditative “Sundowner”.

SUNNY ONLY 1 – Roller Coaster Girl feat. Kochi

With two releases in nearly the same weeks, SUNNY ONLY 1 is living up to her reputation as an artist to watch. The Osaka-born artist, model, and DJ returned to Japan in 2020 to seriously kick-start her music career after a stint in London in 2019. Since then, she’s solidified her place in the Tokyo music scene by collaborating with artists like DONGURIZU’s Mori and forming the female artist collective bala. Coming on the heels of the success of “Dopamine” earlier in the month, the new track continues her collaboration efforts with rising London producer Noah Ings and hints at much more to look forward to in the near future.

synju – dive

Synju is age’s new solo project, former producer of the sadly short-lived Gato and regular collaborator with underground electronic group Rave Racer. While the frenetic chaos is part of Gato’s appeal, the new project is decidedly restrained, concentrating age’s diverse influences across each of the debut EP’s five tracks. Describing the debut as “a cross between inorganic digital and organic analog,” the release reads as a statement of intent, offering a glimpse into their technical prowess and what to expect as the project progresses. “Dive” shifts gears from the previous breakbeat-laden “Terra#2,” offering hooky, distorted guitar lines, sweeping, anthemic vocals, and a ’00s emo-inspired breakdown for good measure.