Edit: The band has now made their major debut as LOCAL CONNECT, with a new Drummer, Natsuki, joining them. Some of their previous tracks have been released on their first major album, Kako tsunagu mirai (過去ツナグ未来).
What can I say, I’m in love with this band.
Formed in 2010, the five piece Kyoto-based band with their name created from the amalgamation of “Pal City” are not only bandmates but best of friends that met in high school.
L-R: Shuma (Ba), Ryunosuke (Dr), DAIKI (Vo/Gt), ma-ki- (Gt), ISATO (Vo)
The first time I went to their live was on 19 July 2013, and I knew nothing about them. I had listened to some of their music because a friend, Kat, had bought their CDs for me. But I listened very sparingly. They’re cool, I thought, but I didn’t give them much thought. Until that night.
Kat and I had been the first to enter the venue, and we passed the time talking to one of the other band’s staff at the merchandise table. We were talking about living in Japan and what we liked when two guys walked past us and paused, then murmured to each other “Is that Ka-chan’s voice?? Is that Ka-chan?” before turning around and exclaiming “Ka-chan!!!” while making a beeline for Kat. Confused, I stood around and watched as they exchanged warm greetings and assumed they were probably from H”palty. Kat introduced me to ISATO and DAIKI, and then DAIKI exclaimed it was his birthday and we were great presents for him, before pulling everyone (a very surprised me included) into a gigantic group hug.
I’d just met them and it was as if they already knew me. Wow.
The rest of the night was spent enjoying the other bands in a relaxed manner and talking to the guys (sans Shuma) in between sets.
Then they took to the stage and it was just…dynamite. I barely knew their songs and yet I was on my feet jumping and dancing, and having one of the best times of my life. Wow, again.
I look back on the photos of that night in such joy, and it makes me feel so blessed I found out about them. In every live since then they’ve grown so much and just got better and better.
And they’re also pretty damn good acoustic, with DAIKI and ISATO playing acoustic sets once in a while. Here’s one of my favourites – “you” performed live at AKKUN’S Live Music Cafe & Diner on 19 April 2014 (here if the video embed doesn’t work).
H”palty has a very feel-good vibe in their music, pretty much prevalent in the majority of their tracks. They’re constantly grateful to everyone who has supported them, always saying Thank You over and over, and there’s just this wonderful calming feeling when listening to them.
My recommendations are: Paradise Lost, フォルメイカー (Fallmaker), 光の足跡 (Hikari no ashiato, ‘Lighted Footsteps’), 平成Inside Bomb! (Heisei Inside Bomb!)
Find H”palty on Twitter, AudioLeaf, Youtube, Ameblo and their Official Website
Featured image from 王子 (@photo_glb). Other images/videos in this post were taken by me.