Rock - Asian Kungfu Generation
I’ve been a fan of Asian Kungfu Generation since I first heard their song “Rewrite” in an intro for the anime series Fullmetal Alchemist (yes, I know I’m a nerd). Not long after that, I heard their song "Haruka Kanata" in an opening for another anime series, Naruto. At this point I started listening to AKFG on my own. The Japanese band was established in 1996 by founders: Masafumi Gotō (vocals), Kensuke Kita (guitar), Takahiro Yamada (bass), and Kiyoshi Ijichi (drums). Since then, they have been touring and releasing albums nonstop, with their latest single, “Boys & Girls”, releasing this year on September 26, 2018. They have gone on to win several music awards, including Best Anime Theme Song (2007) for “Rewrite”. Sadly, I’ve only heard their music featured in one other anime, Erased (2016), but who knows what the future holds.
Folk - Other Lives
Other Lives, also known as Kunek, was founded in 2004 by bandmembers Jesse Tabish (piano, guitar, lead vocals), Jonathon Mooney (piano, violin, guitar, percussion, trumpet), and Josh Onstott (bass, keys, percussion, guitar, backing vocals). After the band released their self-titled album in 2009, they quickly grew in popularity. Following the success of their single, “For 12” (2010) , they were opening for Radiohead and playing at the 2012 Coachella Music Festival. After releasing their album Mind the Gap (2012), the band took some time off to work on another album, Rituals (2015). There are whispers of another album in the works, but it is too soon to have any details.
Pop - Emma Louise
Emma Louise has been topping Australia’s charts since the release of her first 2 albums, vs Head vs Heart (April 2013) and Supercry (July 2016). Additionally, her single “Jungle” (2011) made it to the ARIA Singles Chart Top 100 and has been remixed into “My Head is a Jungle” (2014). “My Head is a Jungle” made it to #1 on iTunes Electronic Charts. She was recently featured in the single “Arty Boy” (2017) by Flight Facilities. Louise just released her latest album, Lilac Everything; A Project by Emma Louise, on September 14, 2018. Lilac Everything is vastly different than her previous work, but equally impressive.
R&B - Kiiara
In 2015, Kiiara released her debut single “Gold”, which made it to #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. “Gold” was quickly picked up by Apple for use in their commercial for their new watch. One short year later, Kiiara had the opportunity to perform “Gold” on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Following the release of her EP Low Kiii Savage (2016), she has been featured in several singles such as: “Heavy” (2017) with Linkin Park, “Cross My Mind Pt. 2” (2017) with A R I ZO N A, and “Put Me Back Together” (2018) with Cheat Codes.
Electronic - Years & Years
Originating from London, England, Years & Years was formed in 2010 by Olly Alexander (vocals, keyboards, synthesizers, piano), Mikey Goldsworthy (synthesizers, keyboards, bass guitar) and Emre Türkmen (synthesizers, keyboards, beats, samples, sampling, sequencers, laptop, guitar). Their debut album, Communion (2015), consisted of some of their biggest singles, including: “Real”, “Shine”, “Eyes Shut”, and “King”. Years & Years recently announced their second album, Palo Santo (2018), featuring the singles “Sanctify” and “If You’re Over Me”. The band is currently on their Palo Santo tour, which began in New York City and will end in St. Petersburg, Russia in February 2019.
Stay tuned next week for more of my favorites!