"There's this idea (among Japanese bands) that you have to make something different from the Western music you listen to," says Yuto Uchino, singer for indie rock band The fin. "I was really trying hard to write in Japanese, but it was awkward. The words just didn't fit and I could never really say what I wanted to say. After I switched (to English), the melodies and words I had been looking for came together."

Formed in 2010 in Kobe, The fin. (the full stop is included in its name) consists of Uchino on vocals and synthesizer, Ryosuke Odagaki on guitar, Takayasu Taguchi on bass and Kaoru Nakazawa on drums. The band self-released 2,000 copies of its first EP, "Glowing Red on the Shore," last year. Sales went well enough to convince the Hip Land Music label to give it a nationwide re-release in March.

The band sounds like a cross between M83 and Phoenix, citing chillwave acts Toro y Moi and Washed Out as influences. It's an ethereal dance-pop sound that isn't often heard in the domestic scene and that has earned them a yōgakuppoi (Western music-esque) descriptor in the Japanese press. This is interesting because The fin. is very much a word-of-mouth band and the domestic fanbase has shied away from Western music in recent years in favor of the more Japanese sound of idol groups. Now The fin. is set to perform at Saitama Super Arena for the Viva La Rock festival in May.