5 Japanese Indie Acts You Wish You’d Have Heard Sooner

Shugo Tokumaru

Shugo Tokumaru was my soundtrack to Japan (alongside Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs and The Districts’ A Flourish and a Spoil). Originally hailing from Tokyo, Tokumaru moved to Los Angeles for two and a half years after finishing high school where he spent time playing in a jazz ensemble. It wasn’t until he moved back to Japan in 2003, that he started to see commercial success. With five studio albums now under his belt, this multi-instrumentalist fuses his fascination of toy instruments with a summery sound.


With their self described ‘avant-pops’ style of music, Saya and Takashi Ueno are the two core members of this experimental folk-indie lineup. Frequently performing alongside other musicians, Tenniscoats have developed a degree of worldwide acclaim since the band’s founding in 1999.


Our second duo, Brother’s Tsujimura Gobun and Tomoharu Tsujimura founded Kicell after failing a college exam back in 1999 which lead to the release of their first album ‘Dream’ in 2001. This song ‘Hanarebanare’, loosely translated as ‘When we’re apart’, is typical of their dreamy, folk pop.


Feeder is the first word that pops into my head. Supercar was founded in 1995 and was active up until 2005. For those anime fans of you out there, the band gained larger notoriety when their song ‘Storywriter’ appeared in Eureka Seven.

Ogre You Asshole

Need I say more?


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