“No one else but me is me,” sings Gesu no Kiwami Otome.’s vocalist Enon Kawatani on the group’s second single, “Watashi Igai Watashi Janai No.” Released in April, this funky pop song with its straightforward, existential catchphrase delivered in Kawatani’s trademark falsetto voice has seemingly struck a chord with pop enthusiasts and a young generation of music fans all across Japan this year.
Gesu No Kiwami Otome. (literally “Damsel of Extreme Vulgarity” — and the full stop is part of the name) or “Gesuotome” as it’s known to aficionados, only formed in 2012 but was quickly signed to unBorde, a subsidiary of Warner Music Japan, just two years later. The band initially began “for fun” as Kawatani’s side project, who is also the lead vocalist of rock band Indigo La End (he uses his real first name, Kenta, on that project). While Indigo La End takes a more guitar-oriented approach in line with bands that sprung from the post-Rock In Japan Festival climate of the last decade, Gesu’s music is both funkier and poppier.