Honjitsu kyuen

Japanese folk rock filtered through jazz, funk, hip hop, and Prince.

Honjitsu Kyuuen (本日休演)have been formed in Kyoto, but now are based in Tokyo. Their name means “show is canceled” (Relâche). I don’t know if they referred to Erik Satie’s music for surrealistic ballet, but their music has experimental spirit and an original approach to Japanese folk rock as well as jazz, funk, and hip hop.

At first, they had a keyboard player and two guitarists. All three guys can compose and sing. But before making their 4th album, the keyboard player suddenly died, and one guitarist left temporarily.
They started recording as a rock trio with help of another keyboard player, sax player, and guest female vocalists. As a result, songs from new album ”MOOD” have a consistent, deep atmosphere.

For the lead single off from the album, “Allergy”, they intended to play a Prince song filtered through Japanese folk rock. However, in the second half they go into rap and there’s a violent sax solo. The second single, “Loneliness”, starts with a noisy guitar accompanied with hasty sax swinging.

But the third single “Tenshi no Tinmoku” (天使の沈黙), or “Angel in silence”, has sweet melodies like 1960s oldies songs, and it comes with an eerie video (watch above). On album’s last song “Natsu no Hi” (夏の日, or “Summer Days”, guest female vocalist sings “I wish I could see you.”.

Through these songs, I felt various emotions. When we lose someone precious, at first we can’t accept it, and second, we might feel huge anger. Next, we might be in deep sorrow. At last, we would accept it. This could be the reason why we keep singing or listening.

Stream “MOOD” LP on Spotify.


Honjitsu kyuen on Twitter, www.

Recent music from Japan