Our new EP Spoiled and Nostalgic is finally being released on November 25th, and we’re really pleased to say that we’ve had some lovely feedback about the tracks over the last few weeks. Japanzine Magazine once called The Watanabes “indie in the truest sense” and those words really do ring true at the moment. We’ve literally spent hours and hours sending off our new tunes to blogs, radio stations and magazines, and I must admit that I do feel ever so slightly guilty about my guitar – sitting sadly in the corner of the room – as I sit glued to the computer, sending off yet another submission. Being in an indie band is a lot of work, but if you don’t want your songs to get lost in the vast ocean of amazing music on the net, then it’s just got to be done. Nevertheless, it’s great to finally see some of the fruits of our labour.
The Watanabes might be based in Tokyo, but we are so happy that BBC Radio Norfolk haven’t forgotten about us back home. BBC Introducing DJ Jay Lawrence very kindly aired our track Over Romantic for the fourth time, and even found some time to plug our upcoming release party to his Norfolk audience. Needless to say, any Norfolkians who make it to the show get a free drink! ；）You can listen to the show from the BBC iPlayer for the next month. We’re on from the 49 minute mark. Meanwhile, here in Japan, Over Romantic has been played pretty much every day for the last month on Rakuten Power Morning. Many thanks to DJ Mike Rogers of Crimson FM for his fervent support. He likes to call us “Tokyo’s answer to Belle & Sebastian” which is fine with us!
Over Romantic has also gone down well with Independent Clauses, who included it in their November Singles hit list, as well as British music blogger Sean from Sonic Breakfast, who was extremely generous with his praise for our new EP, calling us a band “that can do no wrong”. We’ve never met Sean, but we hear he’s a Leicester City Fan, and if anyone deserved a fairytale football season, it was him. He’s been so supportive of us. Thanks again Sonic Breakfast!
Wolf in a Suit is another very cool indie music blog that have been very kind to us, including Over Romantic in their latest Indie Folk MixTape. Here’s what they had to say about The Watanabes: “Two British brothers in Tokyo creating old school folk tracks with nice touches of contemporary story telling sung with beautiful pop perfect voices. The Watanabes are a mesmerizing showcase of unity of cultures, sounds and experiences that make up for a truly inviting soundscape that is so relaxing, so inviting and just a wonder to listen.” What a lovely thing to say. We didn’t pay them, honest!
Of course however, The Watanabes are not everyone’s cup of tea, and Over Romantic didn’t go down so well with some other bloggers, including Obscure Sound who found it a bit too poppy. Nevertheless, they were much kinder about Ice Age, which they introduced to their readers and described as “excellently melodic”. We’ll take that! 😉
One person who does enjoy a cup of tea with The Watanabes is our friend Andrew Holtby of Offbeat Photography Tokyo. He invited us over to his pad in Chiba, put the kettle on and interviewed us for his video blog. It was a fun afternoon, strumming guitars in the park, talking music, messing around with his camera and making some new friends along the way! 😉
We’re pleased to report that another new track, Hummingbird, has also been making us some fans. Indie Feed is a popular YouTube and SoundCloud channel and each month they lovingly curate a playlist of their favourite folk tunes from around the world. We were honoured to be included in the playlist for November 2016, along with some other beautiful tracks. My own personal favourite is “Nicholas” by Holiday Oscar. Check it out. We also featured in the weekly update playlist.
Nowadays, with radio stations losing listeners, YouTube channels and SoundCloud playlists seem to be the best way for emerging indie bands to find a new audience and we’ll be aiming to get on a few more. For that reason, we were very excited to discover that Indie & Folk Radio had included one of our older tunes, Hot Water Hills, in a Spotify Playlist called “Undiscovered Indie & Folk Gems” as well as another one called “Sad Indie”. I suppose Hot Water Hills is kinda melancholy. 😉 Let’s hope it gets discovered by some more people!
The excitement is building and we can’t wait to celebrate the release of Spoiled and Nostalgic at SuperDeluxe in Roppongi on Friday 25th November, with our good friends, Jimmy Binks & The Shakehorns, Kate Beck and Entrada. Big thanks to TokyoDex for putting it together and TimeOut Tokyo for spreading the word.