Nippon Columbia Co.,Ltd. / Nipponophone
Kyoto, Japan-based progressive pop, indie rock band JYOCHO (meaning “emotion,” “mood,” and “atmosphere” in Japanese) was founded in 2016 as a solo project by guitarist Daijiro Nakagawa (formerly of Japanese math rock band Uchu Conbini) before evolving into a full band known for their highly sophisticated and technical sound (featuring guitars, bass, drums, a beautiful flute, and angelic female vocals), well-received by music lovers all over the world, especially in the U.S.
JYOCHO released their debut album, a prayer in vain (December 7, 2016), followed by their second project, Day in the Bluish House (September 13, 2017), which showcased the band’s tight cohesion and garnered international praise from UK’s Prog Magazine, who shared “…a welcome reminder of just what a virtuoso-level modern guitar band looks like. While their debut release a prayer in vain picked up from where Uchu Conbini left off, this release takes the foot off the gas, representing a greater diversity of moods. As with fellow rising Japanese math poppers Tricot, the question of how they manage to fit vocals into music so intricate is anybody’s guess.” (12/18/17)
JYOCHO made their live performance debut in Toronto in 2017 and continued to support their first two albums on tour, performing across Canada, before dropping the fan favorite A Parallel Universe EP (March 21, 2018), featuring the self-titled track chosen as the theme song for the anime TV series Junji Ito Collection. Capitalizing on the EP’s success, the group would go onto release their third full-length album, the beautiful cycle of terminal (released December 5, 2018), followed by the release of their second EP, a perfect triangle, rising sun human (October 9, 2019). Marking JYOCHO’s sixth release and first in three years, the new eight-track full-length album Let’s Promise to Be Happy is due out February 16th on No Big Deal Records.
Since 2016, JYOCHO’s popularity has grown rapidly worldwide, allowing the band to perform live not only in Japan and Canada, but also in China, Singapore, and the Philippines. In 2021, Porter Robinson asked the group to perform at his Second Sky Festival in Berkley, CA but their appearance was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In interviewing the band last August, The Glow proclaimed, “Few bands can claim to be the flagbearers of contemporary Japanese math rock with quite the same confidence as JYOCHO. Their spiraling, hypnotic blend of progressive rock and hooky pop is clearly descended from math rock’s rich, lengthy history in Japan, yet it also forges a new path for the genre, distinct from the group’s peers. Daijiro Nakagawa orchestrates the group’s delicately jaunty and melodically overflowing compositions, an escalation of the sounds and styles of his previous outfit Uchu Conbini. Nakagawa’s tracks capture the rhythmic variety and complexity of math rock but also show an affinity for Midwest Emo, the American emo offshoot distinguished by its arpeggiated guitars and heavy indie rock influence. JYOCHO’s arpeggios weave texture while the depth of instrumentation, particularly Hachi’s [Yuuki Hayashi] flute, gives the music almost a pastoral, folk-like feel. Too complex to be described as simply ‘pretty’ or ‘serene,’ the group offer an escapist vision of math rock in one of its newest and most essential forms.”
JYOCHO has signed with a US record label, Topshelf Records, and is planning to release the band's latest album Let's Promise to be Happy worldwide in Vinyl and Cassette formats.