Sometimes, we listen to music we don’t understand. Today, I talk about something by MONO NO AWARE, indie rock darlings from Japan.
I saw MONO NO AWARE at a music festival called Scramble Fes in Shibuya, Tokyo. Going into the festival pretty much unprepared, I was impressed by what was on offer. The band makes me think of early 00s indie rock, although it’s hard to tell if they have the language chops of Franz Ferdinand or The Libertines since I don’t speak Japanese. This song, however, does have a bit that sounds like ‘kangaroo,’ so it might be cheeky rock. To open the show, the lead singer asked the crowd to yell ‘Scramble!’ after a Japanese 1-2-3. Or rather, he asked the crowd to yell ‘Su-ku-ram-bo!’ a few times and then he asked them to yell it in an American accent. This got the crowd to shout ‘Scramble’ through laughter. I was many seconds late to the joke, but I’m glad it didn’t take as long to get the music. Music, as they say, transcends borders.