Monthly Listening: February 2022
This month's round-up of great new Japanese releases from MONDO GROSSO, JYOCHO, Caeca and more
Hi! This is February’s Monthly Listening list, a quick rundown of new Japanese albums I checked out this month that I enjoyed. You can browse past Monthly Listenings in the archives.
I’m still blown away by Shinichi Osawa deciding to get Nogizaka46’s Asuka Saito to sing on a shoegaze song—an idea that was apparently suggested by his friend and director of the music video for “STRANGER.” It’s not so much a surprise but more of “why didn’t think I of this before?” Her flat, cool voice is perfect for a genre that assumes a sense of physical as well as emotional remove from its singers. My dream now is that she gets an entire EP where she can be a frontwoman of a shoegaze band, like a Tomoko Kawase for a tinier Brilliant Green. Maybe For Tracy Hyde’s Azusa Suga can help.
Here is February’s top 40 playlist. And below are new releases that I enjoyed in February.
Here or Hell EP by 4s4ki
hyperpop | ► “Punish” ft. gu^2
Oriori by Caeca
pop / idol | ► “Dareka Ni Aerunara”
MAYBE PERFECT EP by DAI DAI DAI
electronic / idol | ► “LASE”
BLUE WIND EP by The Grateful a MogAAAz
rock / idol | ► “BLUE WIND”
Let’s Promise to Be Happy by JYOCHO
rock | ► “The End of Sorrow"
BIG WORLD by MONDO GROSSO
electronic / pop | ► “IN THIS WORLD” ft. Ryuichi Sakamoto
“Shinichi Osawa’s collaborators all embrace the producer’s pumping dance beats to inspire others to feel the moment and start moving with purpose again. Even at its most gentle, BIG WORLD expresses a deep hunger for life and love with the caveat either can disappear at any minute.”—Read more about the album in issue #47.
TEAM by TEAM SHACHI
pop / idol | ► “HORIZON”
Per Capita 2 by Various artists
ambient | ► “Sparse Memory” - Ken Ikeda
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