SOLEIL Unveils “This Year’s Model”!

SOLEIL continues working in the classic yé-yé tradition of prolifically releasing fresh material at a near non-stop pace. Over the course of last year, she recorded two albums along with a series of singles, and now in 2019, she’s got a new single just out that will be followed by her third album in July!

The new single is “Mellotron Girl”, released as a 7″ record on the Vivid Sound label, in association with Victor Records. Before it was even released, there was a bit of a mad rush to secure a copy, with unscrupulous resellers already trying to finagle outrageous prices for a record that didn’t even exist yet, but thankfully it looks like the label and distributors stepped up to the demand and it became realistic to still pre-order one without breaking the bank. 

SOLEIL’s label uploaded a “short version MV” of the new song, and it fulfills what must be a requirement in the idol business, that all artists must eventually film an undead-themed music video! (Those poor “mummies” look kinda worn-out in the running shots!)

It’s a terrific tune rooted in that timeless French 60’s pop sound! The b-side is also another cool retro throwback, but for this song we get a cover: “High School Lullaby”, an 80’s synth-pop hit originally recorded by Imo-Kin Trio, and written by the legendary Haruomi Hosono! This version exchanges the city-pop vibes with some groovy surf-guitar set to a ska beat and totally pulls it off…

And as the for the upcoming album, “Lollipop Sixteen” will be out of July 17th, so be sure to look out for that! (I really love the reference to Elvis Costello’s “This Year’s Model” in the design theme.)  It’s already listed for pre-order in a few places, and it stands to reason that streaming options will be available as well.

If you’ve listened to SOLEIL’s previous albums, (Which I’ve discussed here..) you’ll probably have a pretty strong notion of what to expect. And while I don’t think it’ll be much of departure sound-wise, I have no doubt the new album will be packed with short and sweet sugary goodness that’ll make for perfect summer listening!

Atarashii Gakkou No Leaders Leap to the Front of the Class

Attention students!! Leaders just dropped the early front-runner for album of the year.

Atarashii Gakkou No Leaders has never been the most accessible of units from a Western perspective. Their MVs often sit behind region blocks and paywalls, while their music makes artsy references to social concerns that may require cultural translation. In short, exploring the group’s music requires a bit more proactive labor than just clicking “play” on YouTube and rockin’ your socks off. However, with the release of their stunning second album, Wakage Ga Itaru, now is the time to put in that extra effort.

(Short Ver.)MV’s are a Crime. REPORTED!!

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Akko Gorilla Celebrates Personal Freedom With GRRRLISM…

“Akko Gorilla? C’mon man, that ain’t idol.”

Yeah well, hear me out here… while maybe not really an idol in the narrow sense, Akko Gorilla did perform on the “Smile Garden” stage at the Tokyo Idol Festival this year, plus she’s tight with lots of cool people we like on this blog, and most importantly, makes fantastic next-level music with a skies-the-limit crossover potential. It’s crossed my mind several times that I thought she deserved some “Friends of Homicidols” coverage, because what’s she’s doing is amazing and really deserves to be heard and appreciated. Earlier this month, Akko made her major-label album debut with “GRRRLISM”, which I’ve been listening to a lot over the last week and decided this is the window to finally induct her into this website. If you like nontraditional rappers like Charisma.com and KOM-I of Wednesday Campanella, then you should definitely dig into this. So c’mon ya’ll, let’s talk about Akko Gorilla…

https://twitter.com/akko_happy_b/status/1069778511097823233

The first time I heard Akko Gorilla was in 2016 when she released her debut, “Tokyo Banana”. (She had been building up a name for herself with MC battles at the same time.) Her first album’s got this lo-fi and organic vibe that is perfect for Akko’s hyper-speed flow of words: Lot’s of live drums and natural bass with a cool vibe that one doesn’t usually get from a lot of over-produced, glossy hip-hop. If you haven’t listened to Akko Gorilla, I might suggest you go ahead and start there so you can trace her growth over the last few years.

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