We have hit the half-way point of our attempt to capture some of the greatness that the alternative, indie and underground idols of Japan have contributed to the world over the past ten years. If you would like a recap of the methodology we used to arrive at the album rankings, please visit week one’s installment. If you missed last week’s post or want a refresher of the albums that placed 31st – 40th, you can find that here.
Now, on with the next ten albums in the countdown plus one honorable mention that fell just a little bit short of the top 50:
Shihatsu-machi Underground have been a godsend during the last several months. Not only have their frequent, and stellar, livestream performances helped maintain a connection to the live music scene we’ve been isolated from, but they also committed back in July to releasing new music every month for four months. In July, we got the wistful “TAKE A TRIP”, while August gifted us with the punkabilly-influenced “NO!NO!NO!”. September’s song, the acid-jazz fueled “Hallelujah”, has now arrived with an accompanying MV that’s equal parts Naked Lunch and Little Shop of Horrors.
There must be some kind of theme going on out there, you guys, because just as I was gearing up to write that other piece this morning about getting something new from a total personal favorite but being underwhelmed by it, up in the TL showed the get-hype letters M and V in a tweet from Shihatsu-machi Underground as well, and I dang near squeed in delight. The result was, again, not quite what I was going for, but I’ll be damned if I don’t shout loudly in your face that you need to listen to this and celebrate everything that the group does. I absolutely can not, will not be capable of supporting them to the fullest at all times and for all reasons, though, and I’m motivated as much by the fact that resources were spent to produce this spot (which means that they exist! in surplus!) and that maybe my inerrant devotion these girls and their work can pay off for them in even microscopic ways. They deserve it, even if the subject in question at all times isn’t necessarily what I wish I were getting, for its very existence is a gift:
Shihatsu-machi Underground has been on absolute fire these last few months. This is relative, of course, given that 2019 will already be remembered for its rash of stunning and terrible graduations and has been short on great releases so far, but let’s not take anything away from this delicious project and the work they’ve put in and one of my favorite pieces ever written for this site being about them.
Anyway, on top of all of the little promo clips that they’ve spent literal months trickling out in an attempt to get you to notice them senpai, today was the drop of an MV that absolutely nobody in my tiny sample size has had anything to say about yet because they’ve been too busy hyperventilating:
And that right there, friends, is one of your early contenders for a whole mess of awards! Continue reading →
It’s out already, right? Shihatsu-machi Underground’s album? I feel like that’s right. I tend to base these things off of when MVs are released for a whole host of reasons ranging from laziness to shortcuts. But anyway! All of those previews that they teased out over the early course of the year, they were pretty slick, weren’t they?
Shihatsu-machi P apparently wants you to have a little bit more, so get to it:
I want to meet the people for whom that isn’t super enticing. I want to learn about how much they hate puppies and fun, and I want to show them my pity for them to their faces. There are a lot of things to read into that snip, and every single one of them is capable of inspiring happiness.
Some bonus photos because I’m excited for the members:
I’ve been trying to tell you guys for a little while now that the time to get on the Shihatsu-machi Underground (as they apparently prefer to have it written!) train is immediate. Get in while the getting’s good. This is a group that has the chops to absolutely blow up if given the chance and be a big emergent force from the Shibuya scene. All they need is us! Well, and thousands of other fans, but you get the idea! So maybe the brandy-new MV (that’s right!) from their soon-to-come album (oh yes!) is exactly what you need to be convinced:
You guys. Remember just around the historical corner when I completely lost consciousness over a minute-long clip of a song off of Shihatsumachi Underground’s month-plus-away album? Despite having passed out in awe, I remember it well! So well, in fact, that it’s all I can do to keep it together for another one:
Oh, that’s so good. I have a group of friends who are enormous fans of a certain French indie pop band that’s had some immodest hits this side of the pond who are going to love the crap out of this.
Man, you guys, we’re not off to the most rip-roaring start to 2019, but I’ll be darned if there aren’t some really great releases coming together already. That Zenkimi single? Have mercy. And now to follow up on an item that started as a Weekender throwaway just a couple of weeks ago, then grew into something that arguably should have become a full-blown post but OH HERE WE ARE, Shihatsumachi Underground, the announcement about whom included that they’re going to drop an album, are now in the process of fully teasing out said album, and here’s a chunk of a track that’s currently looping because I am a weakling in the face of it:
All right, I’ve played this song three times now and still feel like it’s beyond me. Somebody stuck a blues guitarist into the booth during an OK Computer-era Radiohead recording session, gave the resultant track to idols and walked away with a devilish grin. The result? The lead from Shihatsumachi Underground’s first EP: