A Friend of Homicidols™ is a friend indeed, a wise person once said. N.FENI may no longer be identifying as the charming human named Yoneko, (or even Kanra) and may no longer subscribe to the occasionally limiting genre classification of “idol”, but they’re absolute royalty in our eyes, and we want to do anything for them.
The belief is simple really: If you emerged from one of the most seminal chika units of all time, and you continue a music career that’s going to create music this outstanding, then yeah, we’re right there with you!
And “FUNNY TATOO SEAL” is really outstanding…
When the original BiS arrived at their decision to disband wayyyyy back in 2014, did they ever consider how all the tangled strands of their legacy would branch out into a dozen hydra-like directions that each evolved into their own unique entities? In the moment, I recall my own bummed out reaction to the breakup quickly turning into eager excitement for the future as each member revealed their plans. There was LUI FRONTiC, Pla2me, BILLIE IDLE®︎, Tentenko’s solo experiments, and then there was one that really especially stuck out to me…. Koshouji Megumi’s newly announced “Book House Girl”, which promptly became the enigmatically named Maison book girl.
Spring is here and new life is emerging from the Earth (It really is!) and the days are nice and long! We’re gearing up for summer with (hopefully) significantly less Covid-ness and I for one, am longing for a new soundtrack for the humid nights I’m driving around with my windows down. What’s it gonna be? I’m sure you all have multiple things you’re anticipating, and here’s the newest hat thrown into the summer soundtrack sweepstakes…
The glorious genre-spanning etherial beings of light that we know as RAY are streaking across the heavens with a new four-song single release simply called “Yellow”! This announcement alone is a stop-the-presses level of importance as it is, but the wonderfully generous souls behind RAY have been gracious enough to give you (for a limited time) a complete listen to all four tracks! You’re now excused if you want to cut me off here and go listen immediately, after all, I’m as excited as you are and understand fully..
You totally know Hayasaka Nanse even if you don’t recognize her name right away. She was a member of the legendary (at least around these parts) Shoujo Kakka no International, i.e. one of the most groundbreaking and seminal chika idol units of all time! Yeah sure, they never got “famous” but they certainly made an impression that still resonates with the idol underground. At the time, Nanse went by the stage name “Fukumaru Mochi”, and shortly after that group disbanded, she became known as DJ OMOCHI when she joined up with, yep, you got it, the beloved rap-idol unit RHYMEBERRY! See, I knew you knew her!
When RHYMEBERRY came to an end, Hayasaka Nanse didn’t join any new groups, but she didn’t fade away either. She maintained her social media presence and streamed live fairly frequently, stating her current role as a vlogger personality and voice actress. (Two frequent post-idol career paths.) And while I don’t fully expect her to entirely brand herself as an idol again per se, it’s very pleasing to see she still records new music on occasion, and now has even graced us with an MV that fits appropriately within the Homicidols canon. Are you stoked yet? Well, you oughta be! Let’s check it out!
If you haven’t seen/heard this yet, I envy you because this is so urgent and exciting that the first time is the best time. (But don’t worry, it’ll still hold up the 323rd listen, trust me, I know.) Just be warned though that if you’re viewing this on your phone, the fire just might burn your hands, so be careful…
With that in mind, turn your volume up as loud as it can go and hit the play button on “GALS” by hip-hop supergroup Zoomgals, joined by special (awesome) guest Yayoi Daimon with an unlikely but welcome cameo of Japan’s esteemed academic sociologist Shinji Miyadai!!!
It’s been a very active year for SAKA-SAMA! The current duo incarnation of Kokone and Mizuho seems to be a line-up that’s really found it’s stride since TRASH-UP!!! Records conceived of the group back in 2016. Aside from a darn-near perfect album released back in February (“DAYDREAM”), as well as a couple of terrific EPs, Kokone recorded her delightful solo EP and Mizuho’s project (Which is basically a solo act right now.) ATOMIC MINISTRY finally brought us a cool single that flew in low-key under the radar.
Now it’s December, and as the year draws to a close, here comes another album by the lo-fi dream-pop twosome. It’s a double-disc, 28-track track opus entitled
“You Are The Coolest!”! TRASH-UP!! was kind enough to share audio of the title track, so take a moment and give it a listen if you haven’t already…
International idols seem to be making some waves lately! Over in France they’ve got WACK tribute artists ORiYON, and from Italy, (via China I believe) there’s ERISU who’ve gotten some well-deserved buzz going on. It’s enough to get one wondering what else is going on in new idol territory out side of Japan. From the little bits and pieces I’ve picked up online, I do know that there are now pockets of active idols throughout Asia, the Southeast in particular, but these groups are mostly still too niche to really break out just yet. But here’s one group you may want to watch out for, it’s Vietnam’s idol sensation, POLARIS★!
They’ve actually been around since 2016, but the group is entirely new to me. As a matter of fact, the MV I came across that brought them to my attention came out in early May, so while we’re a bit late for the party, at least we showed up before it was over! And appropriately enough, it’s a Covid 19 themed song. It makes sense though… if a stupid virus is going to come along and wreck everything, then at least try to have a little cheeky fun in some way with it. So let’s check out this catchy gem of a tune, “Corona Ahahahahaha”!!!!!!
CHILDISH TONES, the toy-instrument garage-rock band led by Naoki Nemoto seem to have really struck gold ever since they started recording songs with Beni Usakura. They’ve released four highly-prized singles so far, all of which sold-out of their initial vinyl pressings almost immediately upon release, and it seems only natural that it’s time for them to level-up to the long-play format.
So with that, their newest release is a package of twelve twee-pop nuggets, including both the previous singles and and some new stuff as well! “God Bless The Girls” is the title of this collection, and it just dropped last week!
Here’s a short trailer with a handful of song snippets from the previous singles to check out…
While the big streaming services are certainly conveinent and useful, (And surprisingly packed with idol music.) they are, at their core, in league with Satan. And not Satan in a cool metal kind of way, but Satan as in soulless and greedy corporate ogres. You know who’s not in league with Satan though? Bandcamp!
I’ve mentioned it a few times before, but I believe Bandcamp is the very best thing that’s happened to music distribution in the 21st century. I love it and surf it addictively, searching for neat stuff and often striking gold. And the other reason I love is because it’s a terrific company with ethical practices and noble motives. As you may know by now, in light of Covid’s destructive impact on the ability of musicians and music providers to earn a living, the website began “Bandcamp Fridays”, where on the first Friday of every month, the revenue earned on that day goes entirely to the artist. I’ve been trying to keep this when in mind when purchasing from the website, and since today is the first Friday of October, here’s a few idol and idol-adjacent offerings I felt compelled to share with you…
Okinawa Electric Girl Saya has been uploading the majority of her prolific catalog of experimental releases onto Bandcamp, and there’s a couple that especially stand out for me: Continue reading
Good Day to you all! I don’t mean just a general hello, but also that’s the name of this group…
Good Day is a duo made-up of Yu (Also a member of Electric Ribbon!) and Mi Mi. They debuted this spring, probably not quite aware yet that the circumstances of Covid were going to be a serious obstacle to getting out there to have shows and doing promotions, but they’ve managed to start building up some traction thanks to their upbeat spirits and a handful of really terrific songs. Continue reading