Although I’ve spent most of my time lately listening to KPop a lot, one group that really stands out for me in Japanese music is Perfume. Perfume is a somewhat unusual group because it comes techno-pop with a kind of gentle, feminine artistic sound, but I really like how they stand out from other Pop groups and stay true to their style. Perfume is great because they’re artistic and feminine without being cheap or trashy, and their songs are cute and quirky and sometimes pretty thoughtful. Somehow, they kind of remind me of a female, Japanese version of the venerable group Daft Punk.
I first heard about Perfume a year, maybe two, ago when I was complaining that there weren’t any quality Japanese girl groups (I’m not a fan of AKB48 and such), and my wife gave the example of Perfume. She’s not interested, but usually I find she has good taste in groups, so I watched a couple videos on Youtube. At the time, I wasn’t interested, but later after seeing their new songs, I was hooked. One of the things I like about Perfume over other JPop groups is their accessibility. They openly post their videos on Youtube, and put English subtitles so people can follow along, which is really appreciated since most JPop groups are less open.
The quality of their videos and songs is pretty impressive, especially since they put out so many. One of the best and most creative videos I’ve seen is “Voice”:
I also really like “Fake It”:
But my two favorites are “Spring of Life”:
All three were friends when they were in singing school in Hiroshima, and have continued to be in the same group. The members are:
- Kashino Yuka (樫野有香) – also known as “Kashiyuka”. Kashiyuka is quiet and sweet, and always seems to have something nice to say.
- Nishiwaki Ayaka (西脇綾香) – also known as “A-chan”. She is the most outspoken of the group and always has a smile on her face.
- Ōmoto Ayano (大本彩乃) – also known as “Nocchi”. She is my favorite member.
If you’re tired of the usual pop groups, and want to support their efforts, why not become a member?