Tokyo Music Scene: New Releases in June 2024

Tokyo Music Scene: New Releases in June 2024

Your monthly dose of new music from Japan


June wasn’t just brutal weather and perplexing mayoral campaigns, it was also a month of exciting new releases from across Japan. Metropolis favorites Nene and Awich started summer with a new collaborative release, and psych-rock mainstays HAPPY began the season with a long-awaited fourth album. mei ehara gave us a taste of an upcoming full-length release, and newcomer synju treated us to a promising debut. Keep up with the Tokyo music scene with our new June 2024 Spotify playlist here, and check out some of our favorite releases 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 released five albums independently between 2013 and 2015, the Aichi-born musician came to prominence in 2020 after joining tastemaker indie label KAKUBARHYTHM. Since then, she’s furthered her popularity, collaborating with notable domestic and international acts such as Faye Webster and Cornelius. The new track, her first in 18 months, comes ahead of an anticipated full-length release sometime later this year. It also comes ahead of a recently-announced debut US tour, supporting Faye Webster in a run of shows along the West Coast. 

HAPPY – Sundowner 

Psychedelic rock fans were treated to the first full-length release in five years from Kanagawa locals HAPPY last month. The five piece, originally from Kyoto, first formed in 2012 and quickly earned a following, releasing two albums and two EPs between 2014 and 2019. Eschewing offers from major labels in favor of creative control, the band moved to Kanagawa in 2020. There, the band set up a home studio during the pandemic and began working on Ancient Moods Mahollova Mind, their latest release. The album sees the band furthering their experimental sound, adding traditional instruments such as taishōgoto, lyre, shruti box, and bansuri to their repertoire. The 12-track album features nine new and three previously released tracks, including the meditative “Sundowner.”

SUNNY ONLY 1 – Roller Coaster Girl feat. Kohki

With two releases in almost as many weeks, SUNNY ONLY 1 is living up to her reputation as an artist to watch. Born in Osaka, the artist, model and DJ spent a stint in London in 2019, returning to Japan in 2020 to start her music career in earnest. Since then, she’s cemented her place in the Tokyo music scene, collaborating with artists such as Mori from DONGURIZU and forming the female artist collective bala. Quickly following up on the success of “Dopamine” earlier in the month, the new track continues her collaborative efforts with up-and-coming London producer Noah Ings and signals a lot more to look forward to in the near future. 

synju –  dive

Synju is the new solo project of age, former producer for the sadly shortlived Gato, and regular collaborator with underground electronic outfit Rave Racer. Where frenetic chaos was part of Gato’s appeal, the new project is decidedly measured, condensing age’s diverse influences into 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 his technical capabilities and what to look forward to as the project progresses. “Dive” switches gears from the preceding break-beat-laden “Terra#2,” delivering hooky, distorted guitar lines, sweeping, anthemic vocals and a 00s-emo-inspired breakdown for good measure.