Tokyo Shoegazer – “Constellations”

And now, a farewell to Tokyo after two glorious and exhausting weeks with the most on-the-nose selection possible, by one of the most unashamedly on-the-nose acts around – Tokyo Shoegazer. This selection comes from their last full-length of new material, 2022’s Moonworld Playground (not counting last year’s re-recorded Turnaround) and while it’s my least favourite […]

COLLAPSE – “Underwater”

If there is any place on earth that is a physical manifestation of the Japanese dreampop/shoegaze scene, I think it would be Kōenji HIGH, a venue – or live house, as they call clubs here – in the northwest of Tokyo. They regularly host showcases from label/promoters Dreamwaves and Total Feedback, and by pure luck […]

Mono – “Oath”

This one’s a little bit of a cheat because I’ve been listening to MONO for years, and odds are if you’re here you know who they are, too. But you know, I’m totally okay with that. They recently announced their 12th album, Oath, which is due out on June 14, and while they’ve pretty well […]

re:lapse – “Angelo”

I don’t know much about re:lapse, save for the fact that all the members have previous tours of duty in other bands in the Tokyo shoegaze scene and they’ve put out a series of terrific EPs since the Fall 2021, helpfully self-titled and sequentially numbered. The first was a pleasant if rather unremarkable slice of […]

Hitsujibungaku – “Ghost”

Despite being probably the heaviest rotation artist for me in the past year and having discovered them through my investigations of Japanese dreampop, I’ve not written anything about Hitsujibungaku because, well, I don’t really think of them as dreampop. As I mentioned in my 2023 wrap up I’d grant you adjacent, maybe, as Moeka Shiotsuka […]

plums – “ナンバ”

From the relatively familiar to the new , Hokkaido’s Plums, who despite being wholly un-Googleable, have put out a number of excellent EPs of fuzzy power pop since 2019, including a new one just this past February in Life. At least those exist on streaming, and they’ve got a YouTube channel so folks can stumble […]

For Tracy Hyde – “Floor”

The first post from Tokyo proper – Kon’nichiwa! – should be the band that kick-started this whole J-pop/J-gaze obsession that’s been going on hereabouts for over a year, and is in no small part one of the reasons I’m here right now (don’t tell my family) – the dear departed For Tracy Hyde. I’ve celebrated […]

Blurred City Lights – “Citylights”

Nagoya duo Blurred City Lights are one of the newer Japanese dreampop artists to have caught my ear, with their debut album 天​使​の​い​な​い​街​で (In A City Without Angels) one of the genre highlights of the year so far. Though quite fresh-faced and with an unabashed bedroom studio aesthetic, they’ve crafted a debut that demonstrates both […]