Category Archives: Music

A New Anime Groove!

Ever randomly happen upon an artist and just go “holy crap this is good!”? It’s happened to me recently when I found the artist android52 while browsing youtube listening to some edm and whatever happened to pop up on the side bar. After coming across a genre called electro swing, the first song by android52 that I listened to was just a few clicks away. Have a listen for yourself!

From what I can gather, its basically in the same vein as electro swing, but instead of using old jazz and swing tunes to infuse with a modern beat they use j-pop. It’s something I have never heard before, so naturally I was drawn in by how fresh it sounded. Within a half hour on their sonudcloud page, I had went ahead and bought two albums from their bandcamp page. I have been jamming out to these tacks for about two days now and I think I have just found a new style in the edm world to lose myself in. Time will only tell if its just a passing phase for me or not, but for now I will be losing myself to the beat as I work on some blogs.

There wasn’t really much of a point to this post other than to just show off something that has kinda taken over my life recently. Here is one more track you can check out if you liked what you heard in the first video. If you want more, I suggest checking out android52’s soundcloud page.

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Album Spotlight: Super Beaver – [愛する]

It’s been a while since I last talked about some Japanese music, so this blog post has been due for quite some time now. This past year has provided some great albums from many of my favorite Japanese bands and I have only talked about a single album so far. Today’s album is probably one of my favorite albums of 2015 so I hope I can convince some of you to go check it out.

*PS: Sorry for all the Kanji used in the song titles when talking about them. I actually don’t know how to read most of it, so I had to keep it as is. Sorry about that :/

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Artist – SUPER BEAVER

Album – [愛する] (Aisuru)

Release Date – April 1, 2015

If you have never heard of the band Super Beaver before, I can’t say I blame you. In the anime world, they have only shown up a few times. The band performed an ending for Naruto Shippuden titled “Shinkokyuu” [深呼吸] as well as the opening to Barakamon, a show from the summer 2014 season. (A great show may I add, but that’s a discussion for another time)

Just because these guys aren’t well known (from what I have seen online at least) does not mean that they are not popular. In fact their youtube channel has over 20,000 subscribers, and a few of their videos reach into the millions of views. They have some seriously good music showcased on their channel, and this album features some of their biggest hits.

My absolute favorite track on this album has to be Rashisa [らしさ], which was the song used as the opening to Barakamon. When I was watching episode 1 of Barakamon in the summer of 2014, I was delighted when I heard the opening theme. It fit so well with the animation and style of the show, and the beat was super catchy. They sounded familiar at the time, but I didn’t really know who they were at the time. (Turns out I had one of their other songs on my music playlist on my Tumblr page, which is why they sounded familiar)

This opening lead me to looking into the band a little more to see if there was anything else I liked by them. Boy was I in for a treat. I basically fell in love with their songs instantly, and went to itunes to see if I could get an album or two to listen to. I subscribed to their channel and was a fan ever since.

On February 21 of 2015 the above trailer dropped for their new album. The music video for Rashisa was already out for some time now (and the full version was amazing), so I was more than ready to jam out to some new tracks from one of my new favorite bands. The album finally dropped on April 1 and I was able to enjoy the album to its fullest.

It starts off strong with a short track titled [誰か] which leads directly into Rashisa [らしさ]. I have already talked about how much I love Rashisa, so I shouldn’t have to explain why I love the beginning of the album so much. To make things even better, the third track [証明] is probably my second favorite track on the album. It is super upbeat and catchy, making it a fun song to listen to.

The rest of the album continues to bring the high energy and impact that the first songs have, with only a couple songs really sounding a lot different from what you would expect from Super Beaver. The first being Watashi [わたし], which slows down the beat from what the beginning of the album had going on. It is followed by Q&A which features SCANDAL’s Mami. Again this track slows down the beat compared to the rest of the album, but it is no less enjoyable to listen to with its mellow melody. After Q&A, the great songs keep rolling, with Aisuru [ 愛する] dropping in at the end of the album before it closes with ILP. Aisuru is another song I just love to listen to as I sit in my room, and one of the better songs on the album along with Rashisa and [証明].

So that is it for me nerding out to Japanese music today, hope you enjoyed at least one of the songs I talked about in this blog. If you are interested in any of the songs, I strongly suggest checking out their youtube channel and perhaps picking up one of their albums. SUPER BEAVER has been one of my favorite Japanese bands for a few years now, and they continue to put out awesome music year after year. I hope that you guys are able to enjoy them as much as I do.

Album Spotlight: SPYAIR – [4]

Here is something different from the usual manga first impressions, an album spotlight! What I plan on doing with this series of blogs is to just share whats new and hot in the realm of Japanese music, as well as share some of my personal favorite artists and albums. Today we look at SPYAIR’s new album titled “4”. Let’s jam!

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Artist – SPYAIR

Album – [4]

Release Date – November 18, 2015

 

SPYAIR’s new album returns with the same high energy sound I love them for, and am sure everyone else loves as well. Probably known by many anime fans for their song being featured in the popular volleyball anime Haikyuu, SPYAIR has gained a pretty solid fan base outside of Japan. With their songs being used in other popular anime in the past (opening song for Samurai Flamenco and ending song for Ginatama) western anime fans have been exposed to the alternative rock band a few times already in the past 5 years, with many more performances to come in the future I’m sure.

SPYAIR’s newest album features 12 songs, some of which have been featured in anime. “Imagination” and “I’m A Believer” both served as the Opening themes to Haikyuu’s first and second seasons respectively.

Most of the album features high energy songs that I mostly associate with the band, such as “Rockin’ Out”, “Imagination” and “I’m a Believer”. Each of these songs are extremely fun to listen to, especially when in the middle of doing something. Even a mundane task like cleaning your house or doing dishes can become fun and high energy while listening to these songs. Honestly, I love listening to SPYAIR for this particular reason, they can make any task fun just by listening to their songs.

There are a few standout tracks that I quite enjoyed as well that don’t necessarily have the same sound as their usual songs. “Firestarter” for instance, adds in a hiphop element with some of the lyrics being rapped before breaking out into the chorus.  “Far Away” features a slower beat with more melodic tones than normal. It is a nice song to listen to when you are just lazing around and want a more relaxing song to listen to. “Ez Going” has a very pop music style to it, and is a fun song to listen to in its own right.

All in all, it is a fun album to pick up. Lot’s of high energy rock to jam out too, with some interesting tracks sprinkled in to keep things a bit fresh. If you are a fan of their work from Haikyuu, there is a lot of great songs that should hit home in their new album (including the two songs they performed in the openings to both seasons). If you haven’t really heard much about them, feel free to give the videos above a listen for a general sense of what to expect from the album.