Homicidols Best of the Year (so far)

We are one half of the way through the Homicidols calendar year (which runs December through November for REASONS) so we thought it was time to make note of the songs, albums and MVs that Team Homicidols have had on repeat for the last six months.  This year’s entries so far seem to largely skew to the punk, shoegaze, and dream pop side of the spectrum, with only a few entries dipping their toes into the louder more hardcore sub-genres. I guess a quieter year is to be expected in the absence of the likes of Melancholic Cinderella Story and Zsasz. However, what the class of 2024 lacks in brutality, it makes up for in inventiveness. As the below offerings graphically demonstrate: alternative idol is still the most creative music laboratory on the planet.

While what follows are the tunes Team Homicidols has been devouring, we want to know what new music has been tearing up your playlists in 2024 as well. Let us know your nominations for Best of 2024 (so far) in this Google survey. If you don’t do the Google, you can DM us on Twitter or let us know over on the Homicidols Discord server

BEST NEW SINGLES

Odoro – “Bang!Bang!”

Odoro are well established as a reliable source of lively and addictive punk tunes, and their 2024 punkabilly anthem “Bang!Bang!” is certainly enough to keep us hooked. Also highly recommended is the frenetic, surf punk B-side, “kurakura.” This is the kind of music that sustains life and should be inhaled like oxygen.

YA’ABURNEE – “Love Harassment”

Representing a “part of the world that is bleak and godforsaken”, newcomers YA’ABURNEE tick a lot of boxes for us around here. Their early releases have dabbled in noise and punk, but their corruptions of idol pop, as best illustrated in “Love Harassment,” are where their dark, infectious souls truly shine. The demented and more hardcore B-Side, “Byoukibyou,” is also good to listen to when you want to break everything.

Isiliel – “Lilith”

Already a rousing highlight of her live shows, Isiliel, gave “Lilith” an official MV and single release just in time for Christmas.  It was the best gift ever. Thank you Himari Claus!

kinopo. – SYNDROME

Since their inception, kinopo. have delivered delightfully inventive tunes and insanely creative music videos, and the entirety of Team Homicidols has been a fan of their eclectic nerd rock since the jump. “SYNDROME,” however, dips into darker, punkabilly influences; territory normally reserved for likes of Shihatsu-Machi Underground, MELON BAT, and the aforementioned Odoro. We fully support this broadening of artistic horizons.

PLANCK STARS – “Gal Be Alright”

PLANCK STARS kicked off 2024 with this high velocity trip through punk, ska, trap, and nu metal, all in an exploration of their favorite topic: how they just DGAF.

2& – “Samayoi”

It has been some time since an official release from bona fide chika idol legend 2&. While “Samayoi” was dropped on YouTube as an MV last year, it’s release as a streaming single alongside stellar B-Side, “Ondonohenka” means we can now add even more 2& to the soundtrack of our lives.

BEST NEW EPs

LiVS – Letter

LiVS’ first EP has just the right balance of absolutely amazing guitar riffs and ’00s ennui to satisfy all of your cravings. Their debut album was released last year and we are late on the band wagon, but extremely impressed.

airattic – Whatever

LiVS and airattic are both in their second years and got a nod for Most Likely to Breakthrough in 2024, but that’s about where the comparison ends. As sophomores, airattic have become perhaps THE preeminent dream pop and post grunge unit,  while distinguishing themselves with some decidedly math rock influences (most apparent on “Flicker’s High”).  If there is still a hole in your heart from the absence of Yanakoto Sotto Mute or LiLii Kaona, airattic will definitely help to heal it.

U3NEKO – anone

U3NEKO are one of the most promising new projects of 2024. Consisting of artist/singer Yure Momose and veteran idols Shino Shinonome (ex. Kitokano and Appare!) and Tenka no Chanyuki (ex. THE BANANA MONKEYS), the group has been cranking out a string of impressive chill hop and indie pop tunes since their inception. Their debut EP, anone, is only available as a physical CD, but the six impeccable tracks all have their own MVs (“Hare & Tortoise,” “Shuwa Shuwa,” “Life Goes on Bra,” “Infection,” “Sleeping Tortoise” and, my personal favorite, “Wake Up and Dream”) and are available individually on streaming services.

RAY – Vase

Sure, they are all re-recordings of deep cuts off of previous albums, but the fact that this EP is still worth perpetual replays despite that fact just goes to show the depth of RAY’s artistry.

BEST NEW ALBUMS

AKUMATICA – MEGATON PUNCH!!!

AKUMATICA’s first full album is aptly named as it lands just as described, delivering ten explosive tracks of hard hitting, high energy punk and pop metal.  From the frenetic ska of  “+YELL,” to the delightfully-named, progressive pop punk, “Geek set gaw knee nar,” through the emo ballad, “Gedokuu,” it is one of those rare albums that simply fires on all cylinders. 

MAD JAMIE – THIS is NONFICTION

While powerful as an multi-member unit, ever since Akubi took it over as a solo project, MAD JAMIE has been positively devastating. THIS is NONFICTION serves as the comprehensive testament of the Akubi era (so far) consisting of 14 ballistic tracks of snide power and cheeky venom. As MAD JAMIE is currently in the middle of their second European tour with an eye towards world domination, I, for one, welcome our new MAD overlord.

BiS – NEVER MIND

Eight albums in, BiS keeps their name in the mix by simply being extraordinary. The current lineup is loaded with talent and working with some of the most interesting songwriters in the genre making NEVER MiND a collection that can’t be ignored.

BOY MEETS HARU – Your Flower is “HARU”

BOY MEETS HARU alternatively mashes high energy pop punk with pop metal, electronica, prog rock, classical jazz, and Japanese instrumentations. Your flower is HARU is 15 fascinating and kinetic tracks. It’s all good and never, ever boring.

Finger Runs – Finger Runs

Slap like now. The bass lines throughout Finger Runs’ debut album are, to quote one bass aficionado, “epic.” With MIGMA SHELTER disbanding, BELLRING Girls Heart in revival mode, and CLOCK & BOTAN on perpetual hiatus, someone needs to step into the flagship role at AQBIRec.  Combining elements of future beat, warm dub step, acid rock guitars and those fat, and funky bass grooves, Finger Runs may be well poised to carry that standard.

BEST NEW MVs

Clara Magura – “Ifuudodo”

Clara Magura introduced themselves to us in this delightfully, dark debut MV displaying foreboding mountains of glowery promise. Stay gothic. 

Yubiningyou – “Little Paradise”

Yubingyou brilliantly juxtaposes the delightfully sweet and naïve tune, “Little Paradise,” as the backdrop for an uncanny tale that plays out like The Velveteen Rabbit meets Midsommar on the grounds of the hotel from The Shining.

GANG PARADE – “PassioGila”

The irrepressible MV for GANG PARADE’s collaboration with KEYTALK sparked a global mirror ball shortage.

Nani’n’Nerun? – “International Playgirls”

As the undeniably appealing subunit of You’ll Melt More, we greedily devour anything Nani’n’Nerun? throw our way, and that includes their ultra-kawaii take on jet-setting from the bed of a pick-up truck. Dear planet: please replace all insufferable travel influencers with these two international playgirls.

Ac!u Gromov – “Graceful days”

Another sophomore unit growing into their promise, Ac!u Gromov kicked off 2024 with this cinematic MV for the B-side of their latest single which is only currently available in physical form at venues.

lonlium – “I’ll find you again”

Like AKUMATICA, lonlium have been having a break out 2024 with their excellent EP, QUAD, and their expansive take on the rooftop dance MV.

Best Collaboration

URBANGARDE x twinpale – “Sick Sick Sixteen”

Quubi x YOLOZ – “9≠46”

We know there is tons more great stuff that deserves to be in this post. We had to cut a lot, which was a painful process, otherwise this post would just go on forever.

Let us know what new releases from the last six months you feel should have been included and why by next Friday (May 17).  If others possibly agree, we may put your picks in a companion post two weeks from now.

 

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