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Japanese City Pop 101

Vibe tunes and chill melodies? That’s my kind of music. Slow jams and late night grooves are automatic additions to my playlists. I’ve noticed that recently, a lot of the music I’m listening to on a daily basis come from one specific genre: a treasure chest of mood music called Japanese city pop. Most songs that belong in this genre are from the 1980s. A lot of experimentation in music occurred during Japan’s economic bubble and prosperity, leading to a large explosion of soft rock, jazz and funk. The listening experience feels somewhat nostalgic and sounds it belongs in a long late night drive in an empty city.

Say Goodbye by Hiroshi Sato was released in 1982, but it really doesn’t sound dated at all. Mainly because there are so many covers on Soundcloud that put a modern twist on this classic city pop song.

Midnight Pretenders by Tomoko Aran was released in 1994. Her airy and effortless vocals along with the funky guitar tune provides a jazzy and groovy listening experience.

Plastic Love by Mariya Takeuchi was released in 1984, and she is probably my favorite artist from the city pop genre. I am positive that my feelings are shared with many artists involved in the vaporwave and future funk genre. Her husband, Tatsuro Yamashita, is another city pop artist whose songs are heavily sampled as well.

If you liked any of these songs or want more posts about the city pop genre, let me know! Or if you want to see what I’m listening to nowadays, check out my ‘likes’ playlist on Soundcloud!


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