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platy

Platylicious Picks of 2017

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I have decided to join the late round-up squad and bring to you my favourite musical discoveries of 2017. 

Last year, I decided that I needed to really expand my horizons and hear what's out there besides visual kei. (gasp) It wasn't easy at first but once I stepped out into the vast world of music I came across some fantastic gems that I just wanted to share with everyone else. So here it is, my very personal list of stuff I think is worth a try (in no particular order).

 

 

ゲスの極み乙女。- 達磨林檎

 

The first time I listened to Gesu No Kiwami Otome, I thought I could tell exactly what they were about. The vocalist's style of singing screams "bowl cut, 10ft tall glasses and jeans that are too short for him" and I tend to approach this type of group with a negative mindset because they all sound the freakin' same. Anyways, I pushed through my prejudice to hear the whole album and my mind was blown. They're high energy, jazzy and quirky and sometimes such a sweet pop-rock that my ears bleed rainbows. Best of all is the acapela flourishes from the backing vocals which reminded me of the tv series Glee!  (my guilty pleasure). 

Favourite Track心地艶やかに  | Spotify

 

 

東京ゲゲゲイ 

 

They're my favorite discovery of '17. I just wanna get out on the street and preach the gospel of Tokyo Gegegay. Well, they're very gay. The frontman is a drag queen. It's pretty hard getting info on them if you don't speak Japanese, so I'd appreciate if anyone could share anything they know about this group! Their MVs are a must-watch because of their 10/10 dance performances. I'm so sorry for my shitty reviewing skills... I'll just let the experience speak for itself. 

Favourite Trackダンスが僕の恋人 (warning: NSFW)

 

 

 

女王蜂 - Q

 

It's almost impossible to find any of their stuff on youtube unless you're in Japan, so this video is relevant because they re-recorded this song with DAOKO for their album Q. 女王蜂, aka Queen Bee are popular for Avu's vocal gymnastics, alternating from deep masculine growls to a feminine falsetto in a matter of seconds. This album though, isn't as extravagant as their previous work. It feels more polished and mature. I miss 'the old' 女王蜂 but change is always good and this release is definitely worth a listen.

Favourite Track: 雛市 Spotify

 

 

モノクロパンダ - モノクロパンダ

 

Monoqlopanda are awkwardly charming. If they don't make you feel some kind of way you don't have a soul.

Favourite Track: 空の泳ぎ方 | Spotify

 

Japanese Breakfast - Soft Sounds from Another Planet

 

Another one of my goals for 2017 was to listen to more female fronted acts because I barely know any at all. 'Soft Sounds from Another Planet' was one that stood out to me simply because of how chill it is. Although they have that lo-fi vibe there's still plenty of room for experimentation so that their sound doesn't become stale.

Favorite Track: Diving Woman | Spotify

 

Rina Sawayama - RINA

 

This lady here will take you right back to the tacky era of the early 2000's pop/ R&B except with a futuristic twist and a more palatable sound. Actually this release mixes a lot of elements from 80s pop music all the way through to the late 90s. Glistening synths, strong vocal melodies and punchy drums give way to dreamy soundscapes. Her lyrics for this album are all about cyber isolation and other phenomena that me and you as millenials who experienced the infancy of the internet and social media can relate to. It's catchy af and her voice reminds me of all j-pop divas that I used to like back in the day. There's a lot of influences to this album and it comes together to create something very nostalgic yet modern.

Favourite Track: 10-20-40 | Spotify

 

椎名林檎 - 人生は夢だらけ

 

Sheena Ringo is one of the top female artists in Japan ( at least she used to be, sharing the top three with queen Ayumi Hamasaki). Here in the forum you might remember a cover of one of her songs released by Sibile Bashir and that's how I discovered her. She might seem like a just another pop icon at first, but she has been experimenting with genres for years now. Her voice also has unique qualities that make her stand out from say, the likes of Utada Hikaru (no hate, I used to like her). She's not afraid to sound rough, belting out melodies and then going back to singing softly and in a fragile manner. This album is an example of her successful experimentation with various styles. I can't fault it. As far as I know she composes everything herself, the talented queen. 

Favourite Track: おいしい季節 | Spotify

 

tricot - 3

 

They're an all female band, which is why I decided to try them but they're a lot more than that. I can't put it into words lol As a listener I just feel the joy these musicians feel for their material come through each performance so give them a listen and feel with me. (ps. they're classed as math rock and I hear people love that genre)

Favourite Track: MUNASAWAGI | Spotify

 

グリモア - グリモワール

 

In case I haven't said it enough grimoire are at the top of my favorite bands due to the flawless year they had in 2017. Their first album is a statement, solidifying their dreamy-dark concept and sound perfectly and is packed with killer guitar riffs. They re-recorded two singles 'Never End' and ' Boku to Tulpa' and actually noticeably improved both of them, I mean, how often do we get successful re-recordings in the vk sphere? Vocalist Rynk is the weaker part of the band, but even his child-like voice has shown growth in the short time span from the album to their last single 'uranometoria' (srsly suisou no umi gave me chills). I think it's unfair to label them as another gimmicky spooky kei band, but if you're looking for that kind of thing grimoire is the best man-child act in the scene right now. (sorry baboo)

Favourite Track: あましずくとマクガフィン

 

DADAROMA - いいくすりと、わるいくすり

 

The single is a typical ddrm release, although a little better than their stuff previous to this. Ii kusuri might have the heaviness so many fans have been wanting but warui kusuri was the standout track for me. Yoshiatsu's voice is charged with emotion and reading the lyrics hit my inner fangirl right in the feels (it's about sharing an umbrella with someone who's in a bad place). Probably the best ballad they'll ever release.

Favourite Track: わるいくすり

 

ダウト - 伝統芸能

 

dauto has been around forever and this is their most energetic album to date. If you need something to cheer you up, look no further. Different from their previous album 'shingitai' it has more electro elements, it's like a battlefield of synths in the first track. But regardless, it's a fantastic release with all the good typical dauto stuff: BASS, positivity and delicious vocal work from kouki. That's right, kouki's vocals are beautiful as usual, sue me. (I won't include the pv because it's embarassing to watch)

Favourite Track: 禁じられた遊び

 

 

OSTs

 

The only thing I listen to more than visual kei are video game soundtracks, so I decided to include my favourites for any OST fans out there.

 

Nier: Automata

The thing about Nier is that down to every detail it is a world of its own. The language in these songs is entirely fictional and it's a mix of various existing languages such as Portuguese, Gaelic and French. It sounds ancient and unique especially when accompanying the beautiful melodies ranging from relaxing ambiental to apocalyptic danger. It's no wonder this OST has won numerous awards and there's even a concert out on blu-ray. Hands down my favourite of the year.

 

 

 

Persona 5

Just like Nier, Persona is very unique. If you hear a track from the game you'll immediately know where it's from. But unlike Nier it's unlikely you'll feel gloom & doom with this OST. Carefree , stylish and cheerful for the most part and impossible to get out of your head.

 

 

 

 

Little Nightmares

Atmospheric and creepy, it could fit in a Tim Burton movie perfectly. Check out the game as well if you haven't seen any gameplay. It's a hidden gem.

 

 

 

 

 

Let me know what you think of my list and feel free to recommend any OSTs you thought stood out in 2017!

 

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Thanks for sharing your list, Platy!

My music listening was so meager in 2017 I couldn't even muster up a list... However, two releases in common with my hypothetical list would have absolutely been Japanese Breakfast and GRIMOIRE! Japanese Breakfast's videos are always so good -- I can't wait to see the new music video for "Boyish," my favorite song off that album. "Diving Woman" is actually the only track on the album I'm not too fond of, but I'm definitely glad to see another MH-fan of her! Have you seen any videos/heard her 2016 album, Psychopomp? Also, highly recommended.

And GRIMOIRE is probably my favorite active VK band. They are constantly delivering great tunes and kickass PVs.

Quote

I mean, how often do we get successful re-recordings in the vk sphere? 

Truth.
 

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Tokyo Gegegay!! YES!!!! I love them and wish their songs were easier to buy. I could only find a couple on itunes last year. Maybe I need to check again to see if they updated. I wandered a bit into Japanese Breakfast and Rina Swayama too. Both have quality tunes.

 

This is an interesting mix, and it's cool you included OSTs. Thanks for getting in on the year in review wave. I love reading these.

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@fitear1590 I still need to hear more Japanese Breakfast material, so I'll listen to that album next. Thanks~ Also I'm already eagerly awaiting for the next grimoire release lol announcement in April hopefully?

 

@doomboxThey have their album 'sayonara darlin' on iTunes. I hope they add more stuff soon. Actually, yesterday I found out Rina Sawayama is doing a couple of gigs around here, so I'll be seeing her in May. Should be interesting! Glad you enjoyed reading my list :D

 

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11 hours ago, platy said:

 

@doomboxThey have their album 'sayonara darlin' on iTunes. I hope they add more stuff soon. Actually, yesterday I found out Rina Sawayama is doing a couple of gigs around here, so I'll be seeing her in May. Should be interesting! Glad you enjoyed reading my list :D

 

I had the Sayanoara Darlin' single before but I just noticed after this they put the Kiteretsu Mental Music album up too. Thank goodness. Downloading it now. ;3; Have fun at the show! I know it'll be great. 

Edited by doombox

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