Tokyo Music Scene: New Releases May 2023

Tokyo Music Scene: New Releases May 2023

Your monthly dose of new music from Japan


If wet season in Tokyo is good for anything, it’s finding time to check out new music. Luckily for us, May saw a torrential amount of great new releases from a broad spectrum of artists such as jazz supergroup 冬にわかれて, electronic artist Maika Loubte, pop quartet MONO NO AWARE and heaps more. Listen to our new playlist here and check out our special mentions below.

冬にわかれて –  朝焼け (Sunrise)

朝焼け” is a track taken from 冬にわかれて’s third album, Flow. The band, a super group of sorts, features  solo artist Saho Terao, prolific bassist Wataru Iga and the multi-talented Reisaburo Adachi on drums. Since premiering in 2017, the group has quickly earned a following and, if the sheer breadth and diversity of their latest album is any indicator of where they’re heading, we’re looking forward to a lot more from the trio. 冬にわかれて will be performing numerous shows across the country in the coming months. Head to their website for more details. 

MONO NO AWARE – およげ!たいやきくん (Swim! Taiyaki kun)

After a brief hiatus, MONO NO AWARE make their return with a cover version of Masato Shimon’s “およげ!たいやきくん.”  The original track, released in 1975 as the theme song for Fuji TV ‘s children’s program “Hirake! Ponkikki,” is said to be the highest-selling physical single of all time in Japan and a major influence for vocalist Shukei Tamaoki. The band have announced that the cover will be released as a AA side single in June, along with a brand new original track. MONO NO AWARE will continue to embark on their sold out tour of Japan throughout early June. 

Texas 3000 – Here

Self-described “weird country band” Texas 3000 have been active in Tokyo’s underground scene for the last few years, releasing their first single “Uma ga Suki (Horse Lover)” in 2022. The new 3-track EP (also featuring horse-themed cover artwork, are you noticing a trend?) was released in April with the video for “Here” coming out in May. The track constantly subverts expectations with its off-kilter rhythm and bittersweet, horn-laden choruses, making it a contender for the feel-bad anti-anthem of the summer. The band will be playing a run of shows across Tokyo this month. Head to their Instagram for dates and info. 

cero – Nemesis | ネメシス

Tokyo-based trio, cero, are back with their first major release in five years, e o. This downtime has been a period of growth for the collective members with a string of solo releases as well as active changes to the bands creative approach. With previous releases being developed around a central theme, the band has said that e o grew out of a more organic approach to songwriting, with half of the album being written in an apartment in Kichijoji. The result is a diverse collection of stand-alone tracks, with “Nemisis” soaring along in a gust of deep, swirling bass and lush vocal arrangements.