Some of you may know, I spent 3 weeks of my September in Japan and South Korea, climbing Mt. Fuji, eating my way through Hokkaido and Busan, and drinking plenty of Hitachino and Sapporo beer at their respective breweries. Though I took a break from my weekly playlists, I was discovering music in the peripheral way you only can while spending time in a different locale. This month, my Seersha‘s Seven presents musical gems that made their way to me as I traveled, primarily in spectrums of pop with a little electrorock and jazz thrown in.
DREAMS COME TRUE – Love Love Love
Previously unbeknownst to me, DREAMS COME TRUE is a huge act in Japan. Though they were biggest in the 90s (Love Love Love came out in 1995), they still seem firmly affixed in pop culture there. This track has that distinct melancholy feeling I only seem to get from Japanese pop music. I especially love the space in those group vocals at the end.
EGOIST – Welcome to the *fam
The EGOIST song I’d really like to share, Eiyuu Unmei no Uta, isn’t on US Spotify, so this recent release will have to suffice. As someone who dabbles in anime, I realized I already knew an EGOIST song–the theme of Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress. This track breaks a little with their intense anthemic rock sound, but I dig the mix of genres here.
Kumi Koda – Cherry Girl
Japanese pop rock with attitude. What’s not to like?
BESTie – Love Options
This song came out in 2014, but for as many times as I heard it on our trip, you’d think it came out yesterday. Not that I’m mad. Full disclosure, I’m slightly obsessed with this infectious K-Pop tune. It probably helps that “opsoyo” is one of the few Korean words I understand. You’re going to get this stuck in your head. Sorry I’m not sorry.
10cm – Help
I was just getting into K-Pop before our trip, and songs like “Help” are keeping me hooked in. I think I heard this one in a commercial or in a TV show. I’m helpless to the wiles of this simple, well-crafted chorus. There’s an updated, wistful 90s feel here that is right up my alley.
Alberto Continentino – Sessao da Tarde
My husband will tell you–I get so frustrated by bad shopping or restaurant music in the US. I feel like I never had that problem in Japan, especially when jazz was on the musical menu. The discovery of this Brazilian jazz artist made my night. I may never sing lyrics again if I can get my vocal “bahs” to sound this lovely.
Sahib Shahib – Bohemia After Dark
Our playlist concludes with a Savannah, Georgia-born jazz and hard bop saxophonist and flautist. That I discovered sitting in a cafe in Hakodate. Go figure.