Japanese Trauma Techno Pop band URBANGARDE revealed their new music video “Sakura Memento” today, the first song to be released from their upcoming album Utsukushii Kuni. The video once again features URBANGARDE’s stunning visuals and the return of disturbing imagery familiar to URBANGARDE fans, including Yoko’s blood-red teardrops and her samurai duel with a gigantic Kewpie Doll.
The title of the album Utsukushii Kuni (Beautiful Country) is a pun. Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe used this phrase as a title of his book and a political speech during his first term as prime minister. For the title, URBANGARDE intentionally used the wrong Chinese character, 鬱 (utsu=depression) instead of 美しい(utsukushii=beautiful).
Utsukushii Kuni features artwork by renowned Japanese painter Aida Makoto, a contemporary Japanese artist known for his provocative works of manga, painting, video, photography, and sculpture. The jackets for the regular and limited editions of Utsukushii Kuni are reproductions of his works Gunjouzu ’97. Makoto was approached by band leader Temma Matsunaga because he felt the images reflected his view of the world.
URBANGARDE’s new album releases June 18, their first recording with new label Tokuma Japan Communications.