Now that you have some idea of what the Visual-kei scene is from the previous issue here, you’re probably wondering which bands to check out first. Since it wouldn’t be too hard to find out more on the more popular bands, let us introduce you to the upcoming bands that need the most support now.
umbrella is a four-piece band based in the Kansai region, formed in March 2010. Members are Hal (bass), Yui (vocals/guitar), Sho (drums), and Shu (guitar) from left to right, and the music they make are sentimental but not just melancholic, as if it is sympathizing with those unexplainable feelings, matching their catchphrase “an umbrella over your heart”. Yet, this does not mean that all of their songs are ballads; they also have upbeat music with more punk-like lyrics, that make you want to bang your head to.
As a big fan of this band, there are a lot of songs I would recommend you to listen to if not all of them, but if I had to pick just one, it would be “Kuda”, from their sixth single of the same name. Like almost all of their songs, this was written by Yui, but he mentions this song as one of his most favourites. The word “Kuda” literally means “tube” or “pipe” in Japanese, which he uses to symbolize the vital connections in life, which is the theme of the lyrics of this song. I usually favour the more upbeat songs, but the steady, heartbeat-like rhythms of Hal and Sho’s bass and drums, Shu’s weeping guitar sounds, and Yui’s warm and soothing voice and lyrics made me fall in love with it. It’s like it is giving you the kind and gentle hug when you need it the most, and it becomes even more emotional when you listen it live at their gigs.
They released their first full album “Darwin” in May this year, and have successfully ended their tour around Japan in July and also played in Canada for the J-Music Festival held in August. They still have many shows coming up later this year, so check out their website for more information.