The month of June had a consistent run of early summer singles and albums to take in. It was challenging to narrow down so many releases to a few favourites, but I’ll try it.
Hinatazaka46 – Boku Nanka
The 46 sound can sometimes be predictable, but it can also produce some incredibly pretty songs. Boku Nanka is one of those lovely songs that instantly captures your ear from the first note.
I’m not as deep into the 46 ecosystems as I was in the past, but stuff like this keeps me coming back to them when I need a break from all the K-Pop and want some Japanese idol music to cleanse my palette.
Chill me feat. Itsuka (from Charisma.com) – Heartbeat
I have no idea how I came across this song. It was probably on a random Japanese Apple Music Playlist. Whatever the case, this funky R&B song is a great summer jam.
Kang Hyewon with Stella Jang – Like A Diamond
Kang Hyewon has become something of a revelation since IZ*ONE’s disbandment. Folks who listened to her W album were probably surprised at the style of music she went with and that she could sing well.
Like a Diamond has her teaming up with Stella Jang for a chill mid-tempo R&B song. Hyewon doesn’t sound out of place with this music style. It seems to fit her quite nicely, in my opinion.
I don’t expect her to be belting out shit like Beyonce in the future, but if she continues to make this kind of music, I would be thrilled.
BEBE YANA – SPACE MULAN
Deep and atmospheric Drum and Bass are the best ways I can describe SPACE MULAN. This sure as hell isn’t mainstream K-Pop, that’s for sure.
This song will fit perfectly with your tastes if you want that underground club feel in Korean music.
T-GROOVE & GEORGE KANO EXPERIENCE – Lady Champagne
I ran across this album while browsing the new R&B section of Apple Music, and I’m glad I gave it a listen. This entire album is so good from beginning to end.
Add this to your library if you enjoy mostly instrumental Funk with a touch of R&B smoothness.
KARD – Ring The Alarm
KARD is a group I’ve heard of but never invested any time in listening to their songs. That is until I came across the video for Ring The Alarm in my feed and saw Somin. Then I stuck around for the entire thing.
Apart from Somin looking hella fine, the song itself is very good. Moreover, it has a Latin flavour, making it stand out slightly more than the typical K-Pop song.
While this may not make me a KARD fan, I am interested enough to check out their discography to see what else in their catalogue might pique my interest.
FANTASTICS from EXILE TRIBE – Baby Rose
Baby Rose is the b-side on FANTASTIC from EXILE TRIBE’s ESCAPE single. The a-side is the typical EXILE style ballad, nice but not exciting.
Baby Rose, on the other hand, while also very typical of the EXILE style of music, at least has some groove to it that makes it way more listenable.
I have a confession to make, though I feel like this will come to the surprise of absolutely no one. My life is now wholly devoted to vtubers. If every other section feels relatively dry, this is the reason why.
Manga and Webtoon Recommendations
Much of the news will be in the next issue when we cover Anime Expo!
X-Gender, Asuka Miyazaki (https://www.amazon.com/X-Gender-Vol-1-Asuka-Miyazaki-ebook/dp/B0B1WTMC9T)
Miyazaki portrays their path to understanding their non-binary identity in this stunning autobiographical work.
The Fiance Chosen by the Ring, Jyun Hayase
A lighthearted romance series started with a random twist of fate.
NEVER BE YOUR LITTLE GIRL, Dekami-Chan
Iceblink, Shiritsu Kanano
Tsunami, Finana Ryugu
Blind love Syndrome, Hikari Shiina
5000 trillion per hour, Haruko Tajima
June Vtuber News
Anycolor filed for an IPO, revealing its financial results for the first time to the public. While this is unusual given current market conditions, the financial results themselves showcase the growth, particularly of their overseas division (Link: https://www.anycolor.co.jp/en/ir)
Gawr Gura has become the most subscribed vtuber in the world with 4 million subscribers (https://hololive.hololivepro.com/en/news/20220616-02-2/)
A fan effort called the vtuber Network showcased just how diverse the community is (https://twitter.com/VtuberNetwork/status/1536151272184610817)
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