Tokyo Music Scene: New Releases July 2023

Tokyo Music Scene: New Releases July 2023

Your monthly dose of new music from Japan


Photo credit: Reiji Yamazaki, Jiro Konami billboard

If you’re looking for a mix of familiar faces and fresh breakouts, we’ve got you covered with this month’s wrap-up. Rest assured we’ve tracked down nine of the best tracks to come out in the last 30 days just for you. Summer is here in full swing so be sure to check out our events section to stay up to date on these artists’ performances. Our full July playlist is available here and our special mentions for the month are below.

Ohzora Kimishima – ˖嵐₊˚ˑ༄ (Arashi)

Much like the artist himself, Ohzora Kimishima’s “Arashi” is hard to define. With elements pieced together from rock and jazz to electronica, the song combines all of its parts in a way that simultaneously makes for an effortless listening experience while still leaving much to unpack. Kimishima is an artist on all fronts, hand-designing all of his album covers as well as his music. He recently performed live at the Roppongi Hills Arena and is sure to have more live events coming up so make sure to keep tabs on our events page for updates.

Texas 3000 – Shanburuon

July saw the latest release from underground Japanese alt-rock band Texas 3000. Their new single titled “Shanburuon” is reminiscent of American Midwest Emo music with a distinctly Japanese twist. The instrumentation is complex and the vocal production has distant notes of 1980s pop. The trio has consistently delivered quality music over the past year with releases like “Here” off their EP Dancing on Their Ashes and their December single “Uma Ga Suki.” If you’re looking for a band to add to your “I knew them before they were famous” repertoire, they have a few live shows lined up in September which we highly encourage you to check out.

Kenshi Yonezu – 地球儀 (Spinning Globe)

Kenshi Yonezu has a very prolific and very interesting musical catalogue. Starting out as a Vocaloid artist in the late 2000s he eventually graduated to releasing music under his real identity in 2012. After which he basically hit the ground running and never stopped, releasing multiple songs a year. He has received many awards and accolades for his music but you may know him best from his 2022 release “KICK BACK” which was also the opening theme song for the anime adaptation of Tatsuki Fujimoto’s Chainsaw Man. His latest release 地球儀 however is a much softer song. An emotional piano ballad where Yonezu shows off his impressive vocal control in a haunting and powerful display of emotions. The inclusion of bagpipes adds an extra dimension of texture to the song that separates it from your typical ballad.

Kaho Nakamura – スカフィンのうた

Kaho Nakamura started her career in 2014 with the release of her first EP 口うつしロマンス (Kuchi utsushi romansu).
She then went on to release two studio albums in 2018 and 2022 which received a good amount of love on the Japanese charts. In 2021 she made her voice acting debut in the mega-hit animated film
Belle as the lead character Suzu Naito. Her latest single スカフィンのうた (Sukafin no uta) is an upbeat indie electronic song driven by syncopated instrumentation and a dynamic vocal performance. She has a bunch of upcoming shows in the next few months so check out her website for more details.

Yurufuwa Gang – JOURNEY

In our June wrap up we mentioned the lead single off Yurufuwa Gang’s recent fourth album JOURNEY titled “On The Ground.” While that song focused on punchy delivery and middle-eastern inspired instrumentation, this month’s pick “JOURNEY,” from the same album, is much more melodic and vibey, centering on a gentle and atmospheric vocal performance from Ryugo Ishida rarely seen in past releases.