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J-Pop Band Atarayo’s Emotional Set Shines in Billboard Japan & TikTok ‘Next Fire’ October Edition

After finishing the song, vocalist and guitarist Hitomi admitted, “I’m nervous,” with a smile and spoke a few words to fans before beginning the second song, one of the band’s best-known numbers with a title that roughly means “It’s October, you never say anything and I’ll forget you.” The cathartic midtempo ballad begins with a few spoken lines that end with the bitter parting shot, “You could at least look at me for the last time.” Hitomi went on to sing sadly but beautifully about an ending relationship, accompanied by Maashi’s harmonies over the steady rhythm created by bassist Takeo and drummer Tanapai. Many viewers expressed their joy and excitement over their favorite track, sending love to the band in real time. After the performance, Hitomi told fans, “I’m glad you got to know us through this song.”

The band also premiered a new track called “Piasu” (“Pierced Earrings”) from their debut EP Yoakemae (“Before the Dawn”), released Oct. 4. The song began with Hitomi’s clear vocals quietly resonating over an acoustic arrangement, and the members gradually brought on the emotions toward the latter half by carefully layering their respective notes for a dramatic effect. The quartet then performed “Natsugasumi” (“Summer Haze”), made popular by the acoustic version on the popular YouTube channel The First Take, to keep the momentum going toward the final phase of the show.

Atarayo closed its showcase set with “Usotsuki” (“Liar”), the song Hitomi wrote from the viewpoint of the man in the doomed relationship depicted in their popular song “October.” Maashi’s nostalgic guitar solo and Hitomi’s crisp vocals expressed the poignant number with a chorus with lyrics that mean, “You’re undeniably the one who said ‘I love you’/ But now you’re the one who’s saying good-bye/ You liar.”

A pre-recorded interview by the up-and-coming band will stream Oct. 22 from 8:00 p.m. Japan time on Billboard Japan’s TikTok channel, as well as an archived version of this livestream.

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