Tokyo Music Scene: New Releases March 2023

Tokyo Music Scene: New Releases March 2023

Your monthly dose of new music from Japan


March was an exciting month for the Metropolis team with new releases from some office favorites including Wez Atlas, xiangyu and yahyel, not to mention long-awaited releases from Akkogorilla and BBHF. Just in time for some last-minute hanami this weekend, we’ve rounded up all of our favorite tracks from the last month, with some special mentions below.

yahyel – ID

Having recently emerged from what the band described as a “secret embryonic movement into a new phase” yahyel released their latest album
Loves&Cults on March 8. The first full-length release since 2018’s Human, the new album sees the Tokyo quartet further explore the boundaries of their “dystopian pop” sound, with “ID” in particular featuring heavy, distorted guitar tracks that offer a live feel rarely heard in earlier releases. 

BBHF – メガホン   

Sapporo-based three piece BBHF (formerly Bird, Bear, Hare and Fish) released their new EP
 4PIES in mid march. Featuring members of the popular indie quartet Galileo Galilei (recently reformed after a six-year hiatus), BBHF have earned a strong following in their own right over the last few years with numerous sold out tours across 2021 and 2022.  Laced with creative (and fairly racey) wordplay, “メガホン” (Megaphone), the lead single from the new EP, is an addictive and jaunty earworm accompanied by an equally upbeat film clip filmed in Los Angeles by POP ETC guitarist Jon Chu. 

Wez Atlas – Go Round

Continuing what’s already been a busy year, including two singles in as many months and debut US performances at South by Southwest,
Wez Atlas dropped his second mini album This Too Shall Pass on March 15. Featuring regular collaborators such as VivaOla, Matsukawa, starRo and nonomi, the album sees Atlas’ delivery, flow and analytical songwriting continue to go from strength to strength. On “Go Round,” one of our favorite tracks on the release, Atlas handles reassessing expectations and definitions of success. Keep an eye out for details on Atlas’ album launch and third edition of his self-produced party, Kids Night Out, at Shibuya’s Creator Collaboration Space on May 5. 

Akkogorilla – POWER SPOT

March also saw the release of “POWER SPOT” from rapper, drummer, radio personality and
Zoomgals member Akkogorilla. The multi-talented artist’s first release of the year combines aggressive, rapid-fire verses with undeniably catchy choruses to create a track that demands multiple spins. Catch the third anniversary of Akkogorilla’s one-man show, Independence, at Shimokitazawa Basement Bar on April 28. 

xiangyu, Gimgigam – かたっぽshoes

As big fans of Tokyo-based artist
xiangyu, the release of かたっぽshoes last month was a particularly exciting one for the Metropolis team. On her first release of 2023, xiangyu reunites with Gimgigam for her third collaboration with the producer to raise the question “What’s up with all the individual shoes on the side of the highway?” Having had a huge 2022 with multiple self-produced events, a book release and some high-profile brand collabs, it’s good to see xiangyu return with a ludicrously catchy dance track that’ll ensure you never look at unaccompanied footwear the same way again.