Tokyo Music Scene: New Releases December 2022

Tokyo Music Scene: New Releases December 2022

Your monthly dose of new music from Japan


As the year comes to a close, the Metropolis music writers are reflecting on our favorite artists of the year, and who we’re most excited to see grow in 2023. We’ve compiled a list of new releases from some of the Japanese artists on our radar this month, with new singles from Jacob Tanaka, salsa and NAMEDARUMA. Listen the full playlist here and check out some of our favorite selections below.

Jacob Tanaka – sadness fanclub

While Tanaka is also a member of the four-member rock band 家主 (Landlord), it’s his solo work we’ve had on repeat recently. He started out being mostly active on YouTube and Soundcloud, but soon made the shift over to Spotify too in 2019. You’ll have the chorus link in “sadness fanclub” “悲しいことが続いても楽しいことは起こらないのに” looping in your head all New Year. We recommend Tanaka as an artist to watch in 2023.

salasa – Virgo

With spacey synths swelling their way through this Neo-Soul single “Virgo,” salasa is ending 2023 with a real bang. As if her single “Light a Fire” released back in October was a foreshadowing of the rest of the year, her music has been on fire in recent months, with her feature in PYRAMID’s “Sweet Sticky Thing” along with mabanua putting her firmly on our watch list for 2023.


Members G-PLANTS, DELTA9KID and BADSAIKUSH bring us their latest single in their usual impeccable style with “BLUE IN BEATS.” With a flow so smooth it’ll calm down even the craziest of Christmas weeks, NAMEDARUMA, produced by INGENIOUS DJ MAKINO, somehow brings a chill elegance to the rap genre in Japan. If you’re not following these guys yet, go do it.

Kaneko Ayano – 気分 

If you’ve been following the Metropolis Magazine Spotify playlists, Kaneko Ayano will need no introduction. Japan’s indie sweetheart armed with a guitar and a voice that’s not afraid to belt it out, we’re in love with her latest single “気分” (Feeling). We’re looking forward to seeing what the artist brings in 2023.

betcover!! 超人 

Swells of chaotic drums and guitar alongside feverish vocals make betcover!!’s song “超人” feel like  it could fall apart at any moment, but as the strong bass and jazzy piano tie it all together, you realize the Chofu-natives led by Jiro Yanase have done it again. “超人,” translating to superhero, might not be to everyone’s taste, but this odd, jazz-rock fusion is a journey to listen to in all its nine minutes 14 seconds glory.