As much as I've loved the kayo of the past, there's been a goodly amount of contemporary music that I've come to enjoy in the past few years, thanks to the blog. Bands such as microstar and Lamp have garnered their followings although I think they can stand to get some more love.
I found another group that pleasantly tickles the ears just so in the form of Uwanosora（ウワノソラ）. The band first came into being in 2012 through the meeting of guitarist/songwriter Hirohide Kadoya（角谷博栄）, lead vocalist/lyricist Megumi Iemoto（いえもとめぐみ）and Tomomichi Oketa（桶田知道）at a university in Osaka. And according to the music site WebVANDA via J-Wiki, Uwanosora has been influenced by pop spanning the 1960s~1980s, AOR, City Pop, soul and Música popular brasileira, a form of Brazilian fusion.
Oketa left the group in July 2017, but the remaining duo has come up with their 2nd album, released in October titled "Hidamari"（陽だまり...Sunny Spot）. One track is the supremely mellow "Natsu no Kyakusen" (Summer Passenger Liner) which fits the season well, especially on a sunny afternoon in a beach chair. I especially like Iemoto's voice here.
Interestingly, Uwanosora created another persona for itself called Uwanosora '67（ウワノソラ’67）. This incarnation has the same lineup but the music here has a much narrower focus, being inspired by the works of Phil Spector, The Beach Boys and the late singer-songwriter Eiichi Ohtaki（大瀧詠一）. Uwanosora '67's first single "Shelley ni Kubittake" (Head Over Heels for Shelley) from April 2016 is a breezy number that got me thinking of both Spector and Ohtaki, especially with that brass. Plus, the music video looks like it came out of an episode of either "American Bandstand" or "Shindig".
Uwanosora has released 2 albums and a single while Uwanosora '67 has an album and a single under that incarnation. Will be interested in looking at some of their other creations in the days to come.