yonige have been one of the more interesting rock bands to come out of the Japanese indie scene the past few years. The group is a two-piece act consisting of lead guitarist and vocalist Arisa Ushimaru, as well as bassist Gokkin. They have additional personnel who perform with them live, but the solid songwriting and direction come directly from these two talented young women.
They’ve put out a couple of albums in the past, and have reached enough status to even perform at Budokan; if you can perform there, you know you’ve made it in Japan. With all this going on, the group is remaining active. In October they’re set to release an all-new mini-album and leading up to it, they’ve dropped the incredible ‘Ojogiwa’ and its accompanying music video:
On ‘Ojogiwa’, the actual song starts around the four-minute mark of the music video, just in case you want to skip the preamble. For those of you who want to watch the whole thing, however, you’ll notice the story follows an elderly man slowly getting accustomed to working at a factory, all while giving off a bleak and almost melancholy impression adding a new layer to the cut. The track is loud, noisy, and full of reverb, but at the same time churns slowly. The bass groove comes in cleanly and the guitar cuts through with lingering tones with neither getting in the way of vocalist Arisa’s winding vocals.
For fans of the math-rock stylings of a group like tricot, you’d definitely get a kick out of yonige. Though slightly less mathy and more riff-based, you’ll find a similar vocal delivery and apt for an all-consuming sound you might hear on one of their cuts. In general, though, yonige’s music definitely keeps me excited about the still-burgeoning guitar music scene in Japan. If you’re looking for an extremely talented female-fronted band, or even just something new, I can’t recommend this band enough.