Chika Radar #17: NELN

NELN have just released the MV for their first single ワンダーフォーゲル (Wandervogel), a dreamlike synth pop song which shows us the talent of these four idols.

It’s been a while since the last Chika Radar article, so let’s get back with it: the idol scene doesn’t stop — not even with a pandemic going on — and we need to find new awesome groups. This week we’ll talk about something I’ve been enjoying a lot lately: ladies and gentlemen, please welcome NELN in the idol scene.

Warm, soft colors and sounds of past decades: do I need to say anything else to get you interested in them?

Of course, surely you’d like to listen to a full song with their voices, right? Well, they have recently released the MV for their first single “ワンダーフォーゲル” (Wandervogel), so let’s check it out.

You can clearly feel that this song is really well made, as the soft and glittering synth melodies make it really enjoyable; this ethereal synth pop style sounds very dreamlike, especially when put together with the chorus-like vocalizations of the four girls. Their singing is also pretty nice, for being their debut, and the very catchy chorus is one of the best parts thanks to their memorable vocal lines. Of course, the rhythm also plays an important role here: how can you not love those bass lines?

The choreography, while a bit simple in some parts, makes a good job at catching your attention and looks quite original compared to the idol standards; maybe making it a little more dynamic would make it look more expressive, but it’s already good enough, to be honest. Their uniforms are also quite unusual, almost as if they came from another dimension… hopefully they are not aliens.

This is only the beginning for NELN and I’m already in love with this unit; looking forward to see how they will evolve, especially since they’re quite young (15-16 years old) and already look talented. Thumbs up for them!

LiLii Kaona – キヲク (Kioku)

LiLii Kaona

Listen to キヲク (Kioku), the first single of LiLii Kaona featuring all the creativity of the duo in their organic-electronic style aptly named organica.

Among the many sub-styles of the modern Japanese idol scene, there are some unit which can’t be pigeonholed in any category. LiLii Kaona are one of the most original and creative groups in the whole scene and their latest work キヲク (Kioku) is another proof of their talent. Although it is considered a single, the structure of this release is more similar to a mini-album, being made of four songs made of their unpredictable and highly detailed organica style.

The first track is “琴の緒” (Kotonoo), featuring a heavy and complex rhythmic section made of a bouncy electronic bassline intertwining with percussions both tribal and industrial, while the sound of a koto and the delicate voices of the girls add a more easy-listening — yet very evocative — element; the song seems to draw us in an imaginary world abandoned by humans and reconquered by Mother Nature, with Yuka and Koyuki acting as her fairies. “Rust” (which they played live together with XOXO Extreme) has a stronger industrial feel in its powerful mechanical drums and background pads, but it soon gets softened by a warmer and slightly melancholic synth; for some reason, the group vocals accompanying the chorus remind me of some pop song from the 80s, which together with the usual haunting style of the girls creates a very catchy and bright harmony.

The third song 鼓動 (Kodō) drags us in the Amazon rainforest with a bossanova-inspired jazzy bass rhythm and a Latin American feel throughout its melodies; incredibly, LiLii Kaona managed to use these foreign elements in their electronic sound, creating a very original track with a jungle-like and danceable atmosphere. As if it wasn’t enough, the last song “Reverberation” surprises us again with a more disco and synth pop oriented style, where a funky bassline and a straightforward 4/4 drum beat guide the very pop-ish synth and vocal melodies; just think of a more upbeat version of Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories, but when the French musicians take their helmets off you find out they’re actually two Japanese girls.

Kioku is made of a huge amount of creativity and Yuka and Koyuki proved to have all the skills needed to shape it to their needs; behind he catchiness of their vocals, you can clearly feel how detailed and unique their music sounds and the union of these two aspects will make you fall in love with LiLii Kaona.

リリックホリックノワール (Lyric Holic Noir) – New Members Announcement

リリックホリックノワ (Lyric Holic Noir) Logo

リリックホリックノワール (Lyric Holic Noir) have announced their new line-up, featuring the only remaining member of the previous incarnation and two new entries.

リリックホリックノワール (Lyric Holic Noir) have been around for a while: be it with the current name, or as Lyric Holic Kagekidan or simply Lyric Holic, this unit has been working in the underground idol scene with their creepy and dark-themed symphonic metal sound. You can find some of their videos — including the one below — in the Idol-Tube section, but the reason we are talking about them is an important announcement from their Twitter account.

The activities of Lyric Holic Noir started around 2014 and a good amount of people came and left during these years; after a break which allowed them to search for new members, now we finally know their new line-up. Aside from the tarot-reader しおりん・あ・ら・もーど (Shiorin A La Mode) — the only remaining member from the previous line-up — there are two new entries: 夢紅 (Muku) seems likely to play you a trick if you don’t behave properly, while the self-defined cheerful little prince あたる (Ataru) almost looks like a really fashionable pirate… or something like that.

Anyway, together with the announcement, we also got the first pics of this new line-up, which you can see here.

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