City pop is the latest trend to hit Japan's indie-music scene. Well, not the musical style, just the words.
The term was originally used to describe an offshoot of the emerging Western-influenced "new music" of the 1970s and '80s. "City pop" referred to the likes of Sugar Babe and Eiichi Ohtaki, artists who scrubbed out the Japanese influences of their predecessors and introduced the sounds of jazz and R&B — genres said to have an "urban" feel — to their music.
Music journalist Yutaka Kimura, who has published a number of books on City Pop and its associated artists, defines the genre as "urban pop music for those with urban lifestyles," in his book "Disc Collection: Japanese City Pop," citing the band Happy End as "ground zero" for the movement.