Episode 51: Japanese Shoegaze ’00-’18

Japanese Shoegaze

Woof, are we getting esoteric this week. Merely a fortnight after the self-indulgence of “If I Haven’t Heard It, It’s New to Me” month, and we’re already getting deep in the weeds, covering a wide swathe of a music scene that isn’t even huge in its own country. Specifically, we’re talking about Japanese Shoegaze, from 2000-2018.

For all intents and purposes, shoegaze burned out in the 90’s—it was big for a blip, and then quickly became a niche of a niche, the kind of genre beloved by hardcore fans and ignored by most everyone else. But the massive, dreamy guitars of My Bloody Valentine made quite an impact it Japan, planting the seeds for a shoegaze resurgence that continues to flourish. The Japanese shoegaze scene is massive and far more active than elsewhere in the world, quietly churning out some of the best music of the millenium.

It’s also a side of the genre that Max is obsessed with. Why wouldn’t she be—it’s the source of dozens of new great shoegaze bands. And while we hope this survey is somewhat informative, a sample of a vibrant scene that isn’t talked about as much as it should be, it’s also completely influenced by subjective taste. So our bands range from poppy electronica to melodic post-hardcore, and the year window is significantly wider than we’d usually entertain, just so we could fit all of our favorites in. You’ll have to take our word for it: there’s so much more Japanese shoegaze where this came from. And it’s great. Hell, even Andrew likes it.


Million Flags – Kei Hiyamuta
Playstar Vista – Supercar
White Surf Style 5 – Supercar
Fairway – Supercar
Good Morning – Coaltar of the Deepers
Star Love – Coaltar of the Deepers
Harunogyouninzaka – Coaltar of the Deepers
Breakbeats – Pasteboard
Flipper – Pasteboard
Ukiyogunjou – Cruyff in the Bedroom
Last Night in Antwerp – Cruyff in the Bedroom
Cry – Cruyff in the Bedroom
Zero Comma Iro Toridori No Sekai – Mass of the Fermenting Dregs
One Day – Mass of the Fermenting Dregs
Sanzameku – Mass of the Fermenting Dregs
Open Air – Tokyo Shoegazer (東京酒吐座)
Turnaround – Tokyo Shoegazer (東京酒吐座)
おとぎの国 (Fairytale) – POLA
Excuse – She Her Her Hers
Brain-Train – She Her Her Hers
Foehn – She Her Her Hers
Somehow Hear – Cattle
Birth – Cattle
Soon – Yuragi
Night Is Young – Yuragi
Sleeptight – Yuragi
Made (Jounetsu Mix) – Mass of the Fermenting Dregs
Stereochrome – She Her Her Hers
Kinoshita Fuyou – My Dead Girlfriend

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