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4 Pop Punk and Emo Bands Tearing up the Scene in Asia

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1. WHITE SURF! — Osaka, Japan

Stand out track: “Farewell”

An intoxicating blend of emo, punk, and surf rock, Osaka’s WHITE SURF! formed in April of 2018 and set out on a self-assigned mission to “connect the indie emo scene in Japan with likeminded bands from all across the world by playing raw, energetic live shows and releasing relatable music online and in analogue”. Their most recent release, a split EP entitled “Discover Sister” alongside fellow Japanese punk act Shizuku, is emblematic of their raw, passionate sound — think FIDLAR meets Moose Blood and Citizen. Comparisons to Western acts don’t really capture the breadth of the album, though, nor can they do justice to the magic that is WHITE SURF! The band also has one other EP (“Seeing Blue”) that was released in 2018 as well as two singles (“Farewell” and “Stargazer”) that were released in 2019. In all of these, frontman Keita Nishioka offers up contemplative lyrics dripping with nostalgia backed by an impossibly large wall of sound. Genuine and cathartic, WHITE SURF! is perhaps the perfect soundtrack to growing up. What more could you want in an emo band?

2. Đá Số Tới — Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Stand out track: “Em”

By far the most conventional pop punk act on this list, the sounds of Ho Chi Minh City’s Đá Số Tới would feel at home at Warped Tour or in an Hot Topic. Their sound lies somewhere between power pop, pop punk, and mid-2010s emo — and, after releasing their first single “Em” in 2020, the band has skyrocketed to the forefront of Vietnam’s independent music scene. On their most recent single, “Cà Lem Kem Chuối”, Đá Số Tới pulled out all the stops in crafting a pop punk hit: chunky power chords and soaring melodies that form the basis of an up-tempo love story. They’re edgy, fast-paced, and, most importantly, fun as hell. If you like catchy hooks and sunshiney vocals, Đá Số Tới is definitely worth adding to your playlist.

3. Chinese Football — Wuhan, China

Stand out track: “Electronic Girl”

A four-piece indie gem from Wuhan, China and a tongue-in-cheek wordplay of the legendary emo band American Football, Chinese Football burst onto the scene in 2015 with their self-titled EP. Although singer Xu Bo has cited more mainstream pop punk acts like Jimmy Eat World, Saves the Day, and Brand New as early influences, Chinese Football’s sound is much more akin to the Midwest emo tunes of the mid-90s, with its twinkling guitars and melancholy lyrics (“suddenly near, suddenly far; suddenly gone, suddenly there”). Chinese Football’s cult success netted them a string of shows with American Football, their Western predecessors, in 2019, though their artistic vision and musical style has blossomed into a genre all its own. In 2017, their track Electronic Girl went semi-viral, amassing over 250,000 views on YouTube and 1.5 million plays on Spotify, and since then, they’ve released three singles and one EP, 2019’s “Continue?”.

4. day’s eye — Tokyo, Japan

Stnad out track: “daisy”

Powerful, jangly, and unapologetically emotional, Tokyo’s day’s eye is deeply tied to both the MIdwest emo and screamo genres that emerged out of the 1990s. They’ve only ever released one, three-track EP, entitled ‘MARGARET”, but it may be my favorite album covered in this article. Track one, “daisy”, is a blistering entry into day’s eye’s extreme, nearly-apocalyptic soundscape; multiple guitars, both clean and distorted, work in tandem to belt out dissonant chords that provide a sturdy foundation for singer Ayumi Miura’s wailing vocals. From there, the EP shifts to “dusty miller”, a heavy track set to a minor key in which Miura puts her full range on display, and “MARGARET”, the album’s title track, a quiet, reflective song acting as a bookend to an otherwise intense musical experience.

The band has almost no social media presence, and their music isn’t available on Apple Music or Spotify. Since they also don’t have any content on YouTube, I’ve linked their Bandcamp below. As of this writing, it’s unclear if the group is even still together, but one thing remains certain: day’s eye’s sound is at the same time raw and multi-faceted, simple and deceivingly complex — everything that emo needs to be.

Bandcamp: https://adabana.bandcamp.com/album/margaret-ep

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BTS’ Jungkook is Set to Headline This Year’s Global Citizen Festival in NYC’s Central Park

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BTS’ Jungkook is set to headline this year’s Global Citizen Festival in New York City’s Central Park.

With the announcement, he’ll join previously announced headliners Anitta, Ms. Lauryn Hill and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Jungkook said in a statement, “I’m so thrilled to join this year’s Global Citizen Festival as a headliner! The festival sheds light on important causes and drives action and I’m happy to take part in it. I can’t wait to perform in front of many people at the Great Lawn in Central Park.”

Learn how to get tickets to the festival here.

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Calvin Klein Debuted a New Campaign Featuring BTS’ Jungkook

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Calvin Klein debuted a new campaign featuring BTS’ Jungkook.

Jungkook appeared in the brand’s Fall 2023 campaign for the shoot, having previously made his debut as Calvin Klein’s global brand ambassador in a campaign this past March. Jungkook’s recent solo single ‘Seven’ is making waves after debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Images from the shoot can be seen below.

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BTS’ V Shared Two Songs From His Upcoming Debut Solo Album

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The two songs, titled ‘Rainy Days’ and ‘Love Me Again’, will be included on V’s highly anticipated solo album.

BTS’ V shared two songs from his upcoming debut solo album and they now hold the top two spots on US iTunes.

The two songs, titled ‘Rainy Days’ and ‘Love Me Again’, will be included on V’s highly anticipated solo album titled ‘Layover’ which is expected to be released on September 8th.

With the release, V is the final member of BTS to make his official solo debut, although he has previously shared solo work through the group’s Soundcloud.

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