Tokyo Music Scene: New Releases March 2024

Tokyo Music Scene: New Releases March 2024

Your monthly dose of new music from Japan


Just in time for a weekend of hanami, Metropolis is back with another playlist spotlighting the best of what the Japanese music scene had to offer in March. This month’s playlist sees artists from around the country celebrate everything from a 20th birthday to a 50th anniversary and hints at a lot more to look forward to later in the year. Check out our full playlist here and get to know some of our favorites below.

Fujii Kaze – Michi Teyu Ku (Overflowing)

Okayama’s Fujii Kaze continues his meteoric rise with the release of his new single “Michi Teyu Ku.” Making his major label debut with Universal Japan in 2019 at the age of 22, he’s since released two chart-topping albums to universal critical acclaim and embarked on his first international tour last year. The new track was written as the theme song for the film Shigatsu ni Nareba Kanojo wa with the film’s director and regular Hikaru Utada collaborator Tomokazu Yamada also lending his hand to the track’s film clip. With another run of international shows announced for May and June this year as well as his biggest headline show yet slated for Nissan Stadium in August, we can expect to hear a lot more from the young artist in the near future.

Yuma Abe – Fuyu Goe

Never Young Beach’s Yuma Abe has already had a busy year with the release of two singles and an 11-city run of shows in the United States. Now, adding to his expansion overseas, he joins the likes of Mac Demarco and Sam Gendel (Vampire Weekend, Knower, Louis Cole) on a cover album celebrating the 50th anniversary of Haruomi Hosono’s “HOSONO HOUSE.” The album, entitled “HOSONO HOUSE COVER,” sees musicians from around the world take on each track from the debut album of Youth Magic Orchestra co-founder Hiroumi Hosono, with Abe taking on the album’s beloved second track “Fuyu Goe.” Accompanied by 10 guest artists, including singer/songwriter and actress Sakura Fujiwara, Abe breathes new life into the 5-decade-old classic appropriately recorded last winter. 

Strip Joint – Buki Naki Sekai

March saw the release of “Buki Naki Sekai,” the latest single from Tokyo’s six-piece indie outfit, Strip Joint. The band, originally formed in 2017 as Ceremony, has been making waves in the Tokyo underground scene since their early independent releases, coming into their own with a name and lineup change in 2019 and 2020. Releasing their debut album Give Me Liberty via the label KillKillVilla in 2022, they supported DYGL on their national tour in 2023 and continue to host the popular event iconostasis at Shimokitazawa’s neighboring stalwart venues Basement Bar and Three. The new track is the second lead single from their upcoming sophomore album Tobu Toiu Koi, due for release later this year with a crowdfunding campaign through Campfire

LANA – Almost 20

8 months since the release of her debut EP “19” and just in time for her 20th birthday, LANA released her latest EP “19:5” this March. Born and raised in Kanagawa, LANA began attracting industry attention with a string of self-produced Soundcloud releases in 2020, since then collaborating with high-profile artists such as Awich, NENE, and JP THE WAVY. Perhaps showing signs of some Future Nostalgia influence, “Almost 20” sees LANA mix 80s-inspired arpeggiated synth, electronic drum beats and her signature breathy vocals in yet another dancefloor-worthy earworm. LANA will be playing a sold-out show at Zepp Shinjuku with a huge lineup of special guests late next month.