Let’s Promise to Be Happy – Jyocho

Jyocho’s intersection of mathy emo with J-Pop isn’t a novel concept by any means. On their first three EPs and the incredible debut album 美しい終末サイクル, they found their footing in mesmerizing melodies underneath technical riffing. Perhaps the most compelling aspect of Jyocho’s music, however, is how emotion is conveyed. The sentimentality, joy, and hint of nostalgia fill you with such a sense of wonder. If you could distill pure happiness into music, Jyocho would be masters of the craft. They’re easily the most consistent math rock band out right now and they’ve quickly become one of my favorites. Let’s Promise to Be Happy takes those ideas to even greater heights within the 24-minute runtime.

Let’s Promise to Be Happy is a short album even by Jyocho’s standards but it’s beautifully crafted. The intro and outro are short as they mostly act as bridges meaning the album is effectively six songs. Nevertheless, Jyocho have perfected their formula so each song gets its own arc without overstaying its welcome. The sublime melodies are a result of Daijiro Nakagawa’s impeccable finger tapping and complex riffing. While he’s noticeably the central focus of these songs, the other members in orbit are also tightly in sync. The new drummer is flawless on Let’s Promise to Be Happy with the time signature changes yet they somehow manage to breathe an element of human imperfection into the fills. The flute and piano sections feel more refined on this album as they cascade alongside the rhythms. The lush atmospheres feel organic thanks to Netako Nekota’s airy vocals that glide effortlessly to the melodies.

Let’s Promise to Be Happy is a testament to how math rock can still sound warm and passionate despite its inner complexities. There are moments when the sentimentality can get heavy-handed and this album doesn’t always improve on what’s found in 美しい終末サイクル. What’s more, I can’t help but wish that the album was longer than 24 minutes. The songs themselves are the perfect length but they’re so easy to lose yourself in. Before you know it, the album’s over and it leaves you hanging. The emotional resonance from 美しい終末サイクル is still here but it doesn’t stay as long before moving on. At the end of the day though, Let’s Promise to Be Happy remains an exceptional addition to their discography. Making the most of its short runtime, Jyocho craft another breathtaking journey that stays with you long after the final note.

Must Listens: All the Same, Gather the Lights, The End of Sorrow


About the Author


I turned my incoherent ramblings on music, anime, and video games into an entire blog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like these