This week’s featured releases come from Dempagumi.inc, Especia and Hello! Project Kenshuusei.
Denpa music is as stated on Wikipedia “a type of Japanese music that is intentionally strange and catchy. Common features of denpa songs include intentionally off-key vocals, nonsensical lyrics and an over-the-top tune.” The vast majority of it is produced by doujin circles and underground music artists so it isn’t exactly mainstream. Dempagumi.inc are trying to change that though and they’ve been making a pretty go of it in recent years. “WWDD” is their third album of denpa tunes and their popularity shows no signs of waning anytime soon. Sure, their music probably isn’t strictly denpa in the purist sense but they’re opening up a whole subculture of music to an audience that would otherwise be unaware of it.
“Primera” or “first” if we’re going for the English translation, is a very fitting title for Especia’s new album. It’s fitting because it marks the group’s major debut after gaining something of a cult following on the indie scene. It’s not technically their first album but eh, details. It’s going to be interesting to see how they fare now after signing a major record deal because while Japan may be somewhat living in the past as a society, I don’t think they’re still living all the way back in 1980. That being said, everything on offer here plays incredibly well to people’s nostalgia and the music is top quality so there’s something great to discover for those that want it.
Contrary to popular belief, AKB48 did not come up with everything first. Back in 2004, Hello! Project launched a training program called Hello Pro Eggs (later renamed Hello! Project Kenshuusei). Over the years there have been many graduates of the program, including Mano Erina, The Possible, Up Up Girls, S/mileage and Juice=Juice to name but a few. Speaking of graduates, if you follow Hello! Project then you likely already know most of the girls on this album because most of them have either been promoted to existing groups or have formed new groups in the past few months. Perhaps this is an odd time to release such an album but I think it gives a good insight into where tomorrow’s (or I guess today’s now) stars came from.
ALSO THIS WEEK:
“Realize!” by i☆Ris
“A・B・C Ja Gutto Konai!!” by Kiyoshi Ryujin 25
“Kokou no Dahlia ni Kuchizuke wo” by Predia
“I Just Wanna Be With You” by Prizmmy☆
“Gira Gira Revolution” by Super Girls
“Tokyo Boogie Woogie / Ginza Kankan Musume” by Tokyo Girls Kids
Albums on albums this week. From the other stuff that I didn’t get a chance to talk about, I’m rather partial to the releases by Prizmmy☆ and Super Girls. Kiyoshi Ryujin 25 also have an interesting gimmick that I’ll let you discover on your own and Predia always come highly rated from fans of a more mature J-Pop sound.
If you missed any of the last few weeks’ worth of new music you can check out past editions of This Week in Music here.
What new music are you looking forward to this week? Leave a comment and let us know!