Tokyo Music Scene: New Releases in May 2024

Tokyo Music Scene: New Releases in May 2024

Your monthly dose of new music from Japan


Summer festivals are around the corner which means there was lots of new music to look forward to in May. From up-and-comers like Sisters In The Velvet and Le Makeup to heavy hitters like Sheena Ringo and Dos Monos, album season is well underway with plenty of full-length releases keeping us busy in the Metropolis office last month. Keep up with the Tokyo music scene with our Spotify playlist here and check out some of our favorite releases below.

Sisters In The Velvet – The Remains

Tokyo indie fans rejoiced with the release of the debut full-length offering from Sisters In The Velvet this May. Formed around December of 2019, the band quickly rose to prominence in the underground indie scene despite limited live opportunities throughout the pandemic. Since then they’ve been stalwarts of Shimokitazawa venues like Three and Basement Bar and have earned support from online music blogs and digital distro cosmpany Friendship. Catch the album release party at Shimokitazawa Basement Bar on June 16

CHO CO PA CO CHO CO QUIN QUIN – 声を聞かせて (Koe wo Kikasete)

The trio CHO CO PA CO CHO CO QUIN QUIN demonstrates their rapid artistic growth on their latest EP “Correspondances.” Earning national recognition for the release of their debut album Tradition last year, the band went on to perform at popular festivals Asagiri Jam and FESTIVAL de FRUE. Further cementing their status as a band to watch, they earned a spot on Spotify’s “RADAR: Early Noise 2024” in January and are set to take the stage at Fuji Rock Festival this summer. The new EP makes use of samples taken from nature, and the opening track “アダンの海辺” (Adan no Umibe) caught the attention of NHK, earning a 20-minute documentary on the network. The track ”声を聞かせて” (Koe wo Kikasete) captures the essence of the band’s current direction combining Latin rhythms, samples of bird calls and math rock’esque guitar lines into a lush two-and-a-half-minute soundscape. 

Sheena Ringo and Hikaru Utada – The Sun & Moon (浪漫と算盤)

We were blessed in May to receive the first full-length album in five years from one of the diverse artists in Japanese music, Sheena Ringo. Featuring collaborations with familiar names such as  Ikkyu Nakajima (Tricot), ATARASHII GAKKO!, and Hikaru Utada, the album spans 13 tracks and jazz, french pop and orchestral influences. With 2024 marking Ringo’s 25th year as a musician, she said that she saw this album as an opportunity for younger musicians to express themselves more freely and wrote many of the album’s tracks with female artists in mind. Ringo will embark on an arena tour of Japan, her first in six years, from October this year. 

Le Makeup – なんで (Nande)

May also saw a release from one of Japan’s most exciting up-and-coming artists, Le Makeup. Born and raised in Osaka, Le Makeup began producing music at university and has since released numerous albums and singles and performed in China, Korea, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany. The new album comes only 15 months off the back of his self-produced 2023 album Odorata, the success of which captured domestic and international industry attention. Le Makeup will be performing at Osaka’s Live Space Conpass on June 9. 

See our last month’s article on refreshing music: Tokyo Music Scene: New Releases in April 2024