The Watanabes are comprised of two brothers based out of the UK and living in Tokyo. One of their favorite activities – “sipping on green tea while writing heartfelt pop songs on second hand guitars” – has a bit of a romanticized feel to it, though these are one of those acts that actively capture heartfelt melodic success. Performing live as either an acoustic duo or alongside other players, they have been active in the Japanese music scene since 2005, with three albums to their name. Time Out Tokyo has even referred to the duo as “Tokyo’s answer to The Smiths.”
They will be releasing a new EP, Spoiled and Nostalgic, on November 25th, produced by David Naughton (Teenage Fan Club) and mastered at Abbey Road Studios. In the meantime, those new to the group should check out the very hook-y and swift “Ice Age”, featuring an excellently melodic chorus (“I’m the person who comes to you whenever I’m run down and in need”) that personally reminds me of Irish group HAL in vocal delivery and a bit of a folk-friendly feel on top of the power-pop and alternative vibes. It’s off their second album You’re Dancing I’m Absorbed.