CMU Approved

Approved: Josy

By | Published on Thursday 31 October 2013


I know I’m at risk of becoming a travel bore with my recent run of Approved columns, but look, I went to Japan for a while and Japanese music was what I heard. I’ll be up to speed with new Western acts again soon enough. If you were wondering, new acts from this part of the world that seemed to be doing quite well over there were Chvrches (who I’ve already approved) and The Strypes (who are fucking awful). Jake Bugg was nowhere to be seen, it was a joy.

Anyway, my basic observations of live music in Japan (based on my albeit limited experience) is that no musician seems to get on stage until they have reached a fairly high level of technical ability on their instrument, and the sound in venues, no matter how small, is completely flawless. As a result, you need to have a whole pile of that thing we can sadly no longer refer to as ‘x-factor’ if you’re going to stand out. Tokyo quartet Josy are an excellent example of this.

Headlining the sold out launch party for their latest album, ‘No Way Back Home’, at ADM in Ikebukuro on Friday, vocalist Cumi towered over the audience (standing on a stool) radiating the sort of charisma that would befit a frontperson standing in a much bigger venue (and not on a stool). Around her on the curved stage were her bandmates – keyboard player Mami, bassist Non and drummer Nanohana – knocking out songs that drew on 60s psych-rock, 70s art-funk and 90s indie-electronica.

Check Josy out in action at The Knitting Factory in Brooklyn earlier this year, as filmed by MTV Iggy, here: