Tokyo-based and wildly special four-girl progressive pop-group ATARASHII GAKKO! unveil their latest single “Toryanse ” via 88rising. Stream “Toryanse” HERE and watch the accompanying music video HERE.
“Toryanse” is an infectious, dance-inducing track that begins with rhythmic chanting before ushering in a heavy percussive beat. In Japanese culture, “Toryanse” is a popular children’s song about crossing the street and is often played at crosswalks to signal when it is safe to walk. Playing on the classic nursery rhyme, ATARASHII GAKKO! is at a crossroads – literally, figuratively – and sing about powering through life’s trials and tribulations one step at a time. The accompanying, colorful, high-octane music video pays homage to elements of Japanese youth culture and ends with an epic dance circle.
The group reflected on the song, “Toryanse is a song that combines playful and nostalgic lyrics from Japanese nursery rhymes with vibrant beats of Brazilian phonk. To the four of us, this song reflects the joy and pride growing up in Japan. Come dance with us!”
The new music follows on the heels of a highly successful year full of many firsts for the group. Last October, they unveiled “Tokyo Calling,” a reflective single about the harsh monotony of daily life in Tokyo which opens with a doomsday-like alarm. It was met with critical acclaim upon release and ATARASHII GAKKO! made their US late-night television debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live! with the song (watch HERE). The group also showcased their inimitable performance style on their first worldwide SEISHUN Tour, which sold out completely in the U.S., and at music festivals like Mexico City’s Corona Capital Festival and 88rising’s New York and Los Angeles iterations of the Head In The Clouds Music & Arts Festival. This year ATARASHII GAKKO! plays their first-ever Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival with sets on Sunday, April 14 and 21.
ATARASHII GAKKO! (literally meaning “new school” in Japanese) are a group of four young women who are redefining what it means to be a girl group. While most J-Pop female idol groups are known for their squeaky high voices, perfectly synchronized dance moves, feigned images of purity and innocence, and an excessive drive to always be kawaii (cute), AG! isn’t into any of that. They wear sailor-fuku (sailor suits) uniforms in a style that were worn by Japanese students back in the 70s and 80s with long skirts and pulled-up socks, and staunchly refuse to be objectified. Their aggressive and expressive dance moves, which they choreograph themselves, are a hybrid of the energy of Japanese butoh dance, heavy metal headbanging, and hip-hop street dancing. Musically, AG! brings together elements of modern J-Pop, Showa-era kayokyoku, rap, punk, dance music, but it would be pointless to try to categorize them in any genre.