Tokyo Music Scene: New Releases in April 2024

Tokyo Music Scene: New Releases in April 2024

Your monthly dose of new music from Japan


While one particular American release may have hogged all the attention, some of our favorite Japanese artists were also busy releasing new music in April. With long-anticipated albums from hip-hop up-and-comers MFS and Valknee, a new sonic direction from experimental trio Dos Monos and the hint of more to look forward to from Metropolis favorites ん(n)oon, it wasn’t just Swifties that had a lot to celebrate last month. Just in time for the long weekend, keep up with the Tokyo music scene with our Spotify playlist here and check out some of our favorite releases below.

Dos Monos – QUE GI

Ahead of the release of their third full-length album, experimental hip-hop trio Dos Monos dropped their latest single, “Que GI,” on April 19. The new track marks the beginning of what the trio describes as a “new phase” of their sound. They are moving into heavier, more rock-focused territory, with the release of their recent live record Don’t Make Any Noise marking the end of their first phase. The upcoming album, Dos Atomos, due for release this May was mastered by former Brian Eno and Aphex Twin collaborator Matt Colton. It will come just over five years after their debut album. Prominent jazz, avante-garde and noise artist Otomo Yoshihide (Ground Zero) features as a guest artist in the new single. He will also appear alongside the members of Dos Monos at the album launch event Dos Atomos Release Party 〜 Theater D vol.4 at Liquidroom on June 15.

Summer Eye – 三九 (Sankyu)

Summer Eye, the solo project of former Siamese Cats guitarist and vocalist Tomoyuki Natsume, made his latest single “三九” (Sankyu) available on streaming platforms on April 11. Natsume originally released the song via Bandcamp on 3:09:39 on March 9 to celebrate his 39th Birthday. He describes “Sankyu” as a “big gratitude song” for the fans he’s accumulated since he started his solo project. Drawing on bright, summery dub influences, the track is independently produced by Natsume. It comes ahead of an early summer tour starting in Kyoto on June 8. “Sankyu” will receive a physical 7-inch release in June and Summer Eye’s 2023 album Daikichi will receive a deluxe physical release later this month.

んoon – NANA

Nearly two years after their latest release, Tokyo’s んoon returned in April with their latest single “NANA.” The track was written as part of DE-SILO EXPERIMENT 2024, an initiative that paired various artists with academics and researchers to create new music, video and art projects. んoon teamed up with philosopher Tami Yanagisawa to explore her research theme of “We-ness.” It gave life to the new track, live performance and panel discussion at Omotesando’s Wall x Wall on April 14. The track combines bass, vocals, harp, drums and keys each playing in odd time signatures. In this way, it achieves a composition where each element is simultaneously detached yet in sync. With the band supposedly working on a new album over the past couple of years, the new track could be a sign of something to look forward to in the coming months.

Valknee – OG

In just five short years, Tokyo-based rapper Valknee has released 17 singles and 3 EPs. She formed the all-female hip hop supergroup Zoomgals and performed on Abema TV’s “Rap Star Tanjou!”. Last but not least, she took the reigns on the theme tune and music direction for the Daisuke Miyazaki film #mitoyamane. Approaching the fifth anniversary of her debut single release, she continues her success with the release of her debut album Ordinary. The album, released on April 10, features collaborations with several big-name producers. The previously released singles “WHITE DOWN JKT” and “BREEEEZE,” were also included with eight new tracks. Valknee will perform at Shibuya’s WWW to celebrate the new album on May 2.