Firework Image from http://worldartsme.com/
Wow another year has come to the end. Thanks for all the support and readership this year, it truly means a lot to me and how far this project has come. I’ve managed to change things up this year, doing slightly different articles featuring events and lists which I hope to continue next year. Not to mention writing about other Japanese related content for AVO. For those who know me personally, I won’t deny I was close to closing Japan Jams due to being busy from my new job which is very time-consuming, making it a struggle these last two months to consistently release articles but it’s a feat I managed to do! I have pretty much featured every Japanese artist I like at this point, so keeping this blog up encourages me to keep exploring and find more artists to spread the word of, so again I thank you all for your support as it is what kept me going! It is on this note I would like to encourage anyone who would like to write a feature on an artist to contact me, particularly to mix up the artists featured (as I have been falling into my personal taste quite a bit the last few months). Either way, as this list will end, 2019 is shaping to be an awesome year so I look forward to seeing what it brings.
So let the summary of this year begin! I always struggle to confine the releases to this list (and I won’t lie, even remembering what came out this year). Of course this is the usual disclaimer, it is all my opinion so this will no doubt be skewed to more pop punk/alternative genres. I’d love to hear your lists so feel free to comment your favourites below too!
My Top 10 Singles
- Tank Top Festival 2019 by Yabai T-Shirts Yasan (ヤバイTシャツ屋さん)
- 19 Summer Note by SILENT SIREN
2ステ3フン4ローイング by アイスクリームネバーグラウンド (IScream Never Ground)
- Venom Shock by HYSTERIC PANIC (ヒステリックパニック)
- BDM by BATTEN SHOWJO TAI (ばってん少女隊)
- POP TEAM EPIC by Sumire Uesaka (上坂すみれ)
- Catch Up Latency by UNISON SQUARE GARDEN
- Heart Light by SpecialThanks
本気でウンザウンザを踊る by バックドロップシンデレラ (BackDrop Cinderella)
My Top 10 Albums
- Carnival of the Tank Top by Yabai T-Shirts Yasan (ヤバイTシャツ屋さん)
- Hypnotic Poison by HYSTERIC PANIC (ヒステリックパニック)
- Ex Machina by Crossfaith (クロスフェイス)
- Honey by SCANDAL
- Rodiac by ROA
- Ex Libris PassCode by PassCode
- Mode Mood Mode by UNISON SQUARE GARDEN
- Mirrors by Yanakoto Sotto Mute
- Who Am I by YUKIKA
- NEKOKABURI by Mutant Monster
Artist of the Year – Yabai T-Shirts Yasan (ヤバイTシャツ屋さん)
Topping my favourite album and single charts, no doubt it had to go to these guys as they have become my favourite artist of all time. Personally I have been listening to them quite a lot this year, and it has reunited my love for the hard and fast Western pop punk where my music roots lie. Indeed, their new album manages to capture the soul of it and still continue to put a new twist onto it to make it interesting unlike the Western scene. At the moment, they are the artist I am most desperate to see live and here is to hoping they do a few UK shows in 2019!
Best Upcoming Artist – YUKIKA
For us Brits, it has to be Yukika! She captured our hearts with her Hyper Japan and UK shows in the short time she was here. Her music has a joyful infectious energy which just brightens up your mood just by listening to her. Indeed, her live performances only enhance this as she embodies this with her stage presence. I’m sure she will rise up and become one of the most prominent Japanese artists out there, definitely the one to watch.
Most Read Article – 打首獄門同好会 (Uchikubi Gokumon Doukoukai)
I won’t lie, out of all the artists we have featured this year I’m pretty shocked Uchikubi Gokumon Doukoukai has been the article generating the most hits. Where they haven’t been particularly active I reckon it’s because my article being one of the few sources of information on the band, but still a good year for them nonetheless!
Things to Look Forward to in 2019
After a great mini-album this year, and a single just before the year ends, Polkadot Stingray (ポルカドットスティングレイ) will be releasing their second full album in February. I’m very excited after their great single they only released in the last few weeks, there is sure to be more great things to come.
In April we have Orion UK presenting the Indie, Idol and Infamous tour featuring 14Generations Toilet hanakosan (四十代目トイレの花子さん), Double&, and Garuda! Great alternative idols with dates in London, Manchester and Birmingham, it will be a show you won’t want to miss!
Not only that Orion UK are also hosting the Metal Matsuri festival in London on 4th and 5th October! Line-up so far is made up of Marys Blood, Unlucky Morpheus, Rie aka Suzaku, and more to be announced. It will be a great 2 days of music, another event not to miss. We are sure being treated here in the UK next year.
Of course there will be Hyper Japan, and hopefully some more live shows to look forward to. Plus many more releases from JPU Record, and other artists who are secretly working away to surprise us in the year. Either way, 2019 is already set to be a great year for Japanese music!