DYGL: Next Day

One of the bands I’ve been most vocal in recommending over the past year or so is DYGL, a young indiepop band from Tokyo and one of the most promising up-and-comers in a scene that seems to be going through a mini boom at the moment, driven perhaps by a growing international online network of indiepop aficionados and perhaps also helped by the network of local scene curators that has grown up from Fukuoka to Kansai to Nagoya to Tokyo. It’s a scene that has a reputation for being a bit effete, and that stereotype is one that more often than not, Japanese indiepop bands are more than willing to confirm with their cute tote bags and accessories and general herbivorous tweeness, but DYGL have thankfully bucked that trend, incorporating progressively more driving punk and powerpop elements into their music thanks to the addition of a bass player to the lineup and vocalist Nobuki Akiyama’s increasingly raw vocal inflections.

With Next Day, the band seem to be channeling The Strokes at their The Modern Age best, especially through Akiyama’s crackly baritone Julian Casablancas vocal performance, but also through the repetitive, Velvetsy, proto-Krautrock drums and monotonous guitar line. It also shares that repressed energy that ran through The Strokes’ early material, but where Casablancas & co. crashed against the flood defences of mild disappointment the moment they tried to really let loose their repressed energy, DYGL already have material like I’m Waiting for You and Nashville that rips through the embankments and floods your heart with passion and joy, so in that context, Next Day has a valuable role in establishing and reinforcing a dynamic between repression and expression in the band’s repertoire.

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