Hey there! Welcome to the first installment of our new feature, Spotlight, in which we here at ItDjents intend to shed some light on bands/artists we deem underrated or simply too unknown. This will not be limited to progressive rock/metal, either; instead, we’d like to draw from a wide variety of genres to give our readership a much more diverse experience. Let us know what you think of this idea in the comments below, and have fun with this first Spotlight!
Members: Go Yamada (bass), Kie Katagi (piano), Shin Kokawa (drums) and Noriyuki Inoue (guitar)
Active Since: 2006
Genre: Jazz, Post-Rock, Instrumental
FFO: Mouse on the Keys, toe, Fox Capture Plan
Music discovery can be a very surprising experience in this day and age, what with tools like YouTube, Spotify, etc. At any time, it is completely possible that you’re only one mouse click away from finding exactly the band/music you’ve been searching for all your life. And that’s exactly where my story with Japanese jazz/post-rock quartet jizue began.
One day, while I was browsing some of my recommended videos on YouTube, their song “Sun” popped up in the side bar. The curious person I am, I instantly clicked on the thumbnail, intrigued by the foreign-sounding name, not in the least expecting to be blown away as much as I would be six minutes later. The song’s title, to me, was a perfect representation of its sonic properties. It was as if a pure, unfiltered ray of sunlight somehow made its way into my auditory passage to brighten my day. “Sun” has been one of my absolute favorite songs ever since, and I’d like you to take some time out of your busy schedules to experience it for yourselves. Check it out below!
Safe to say that I had some catching up to do; I was a few years late to the jizue party by now after all. So I greedily soaked up all of their discography: Bookshelf (2010), Novel (2012), Journal (2013) and Shiori (2014). Novel gained a place in my heart especially, since it contained the aforementioned “Sun”. They were also the band who made me realize that jazz doesn’t necessarily need a horn section to be captivating. What their warm, laid-back music lacked in regards to some age-old jazz tropes, it more than made up in passion, candour and coziness.
When their latest album Story dropped in May of last year, I was going through a hard time in my life, as anyone who struggles with psychological problems does eventually. But through their music, jizue provided to me a means of alleviation, a brief moment to rest my weary head on the shoulder of their warm-hearted melodies. I don’t mean to sound dramatic here in any way, and forgive me if I do; I know there are many, many people on this beautiful blue planet of ours who have it far worse than me. I’m just trying to explain to you why I love this band so much, and this episode is a vital part of my relationship with their compositions.
I hope that this little ditty successfully persuaded at least some of you to check out jizue, as they merit a lot more attention than they are currently getting – in my opinion, that is. Anyway, you can follow them on Facebook as well as on Twitter if you’d like. Thanks for reading!