ATARASHII GAKKO! Drop First International Single and MV

After their November announcement of signing with American multimedia platform 88rising, and their December participation in the DOUBLE HAPPINESS Global Holiday Festival, ATARASHII GAKKO! are continuing their quest for world domination with the January release of, “NAINAINAI”, their first international single and MV.

The whole production is a pretty perfect package. The visuals and choreography pop. The tune is rife with hooks. The lyrics translate well to English. The subtitles are done in a non-intrusive way that doesn’t distract from the poetic cadence of the Japanese language itself. The truncated aspect ratio not only adds a Showa-era vaporwave aesthetic, but it also ensures that the MV will look great on Instagram or when viewed on a phone.

These 88rising folks thought of everything. It’s really impressive and I’m ecstatic to see an indie unit with such great promise get this kind of careful attention.

As a single, “NAINAINAI” is a slight departure musically for the group. The song skews more hip-hop than usual, even incorporating a whole rapped verse by RIN. The familiar spirit of ATARASHII GAKKO! though is undeniably present, and the tune is sprinkled with enough funk, groove and acid jazz that existing fans won’t feel left behind. As always, SUZUKA’s ridiculously strong vocal talent is the highlight, disguising her serious pipes once again under the playful aspect of the unit and its music.

The song is produced by yonkey from Klang Ruler who you may remember from the two groups’ previous collaboration on a brilliant cover of Linda Yamamoto’s “I can’t stop”.

In addition to the single and MV, the group has just launched a new English language website at atarashiigakko.com where you can subscribe to their newsletter.

88rising has also been regularly releasing subtitled videos featuring MIZYU, RIN, SUZUKA, KANON and their salty humor as they introduce an international audience to various aspects of Japanese life. Among these are the Seishun Academy Culture Series:

And the Japan Youth Trilogy:

A few months in, and the partnership between ATARASHII GAKKO!  and 88rising has proved to be incredibly productive (and entertaining). I’m looking forward to what comes next.