Resonance Media


February 28, 2018


Swinging Popsicle has revealed the full track list and album art for the 2-disc compilation GOLDEN☆BEST Master TIME TRAVEL ~Sony Music Years Selection~, due for release March 2nd in Japan. In addition to online orders from Sony Music Direct, the album will be available at the band’s upcoming concert event “POPS Parade Festival 2018 -IMAGINE THE MUSIC-” on March 4th at Koenji High.

(Photo by Noriko Hagiwara)

Sony Music Shop: GOLDEN☆BEST Master TIME TRAVEL ~Sony Music Years Selection~


January 5, 2018


Photo Credit: Kaoruko Hanawa/Popsicle Clip

Japanese rock band Swinging Popsicle gave their fans a Christmas treat with a career-spanning selection of songs on December 22nd.

For their major debut 20th Anniversary holiday concert “Add Some Music To Your Christmastime”, the band performed over two hours for the sold out audience at Shimokitazawa Rhapsody in Tokyo.

The set list covered early releases like Sunny Silent Park e.p. and FENNEC! through Loud Cut! (with music from the Nitroplus game Sumaga – Star Mine Girl) and their latest release, flow, which includes the holiday song “at Christmastime“.



July 25, 2017


Swinging Popsicle held an intimate, limited-access one-man live at Tokyo’s Mona Records on July 22, 2017.

The concert featured some of the band’s most popular hits from their two decades together, and fans received a special venue-only CD single featured a re-recording of the band’s debut single “Joy Of Living”, first released twenty years ago on July 21, 1997.



How did you come up with the band name “Swinging Popsicle”?

Shimada: We were playing pop music so I wanted to have the word “pops” in the name like “popsicle”. Popsicle itself is fine but I felt something like was missing. I thought it’d be better to have “ing” like The Rolling Stones or The Smashing Pumpkins. I loved British 60s music and was reading a magazine called Studio Voice when I found an article titled “Swinging London Sixties”. I took “swinging” from there and added the popsicle. That’s how I came up with the name Swinging Popsicle in the end.

Fujishima: He wrote it down for me. I thought it was cute but when I read it out loud, I realized it’s quite difficult to pronounce for Japanese people. It’d probably alright for people who are used to the English language.

Hirata: It’s not so easy to memorize or pronounce it, but when Jenny from Cloudberry Jam came and told us that she liked it I took a liking to the name even more.

Full interview:


Swinging Popsicle interview in English & Spanish on Colectivo Bunka:

“Overseas fans are used to expressing their passion honestly. They enjoy the moment 100%, much differently than Japanese people, so it gets exciting and it’s easy for us to blend in!”



January 12, 2016 – Swinging Popsicle’s latest EP flow is now available for streaming and download in 119 countries via services such as iTunes, Spotify, KKBox, Rhapsody, Amazon, and Google Play.

The six-song EP featuring “Small Blue Sailboat” and “At Christmastime” was released in Japan last month as part of the band’s continuing 20th Anniversary celebration, which will span 3 years to cover the period of their indies formation through their major label debut with Sony Records.



Swinging Popsicle’s “At Christmastime” from their latest EP flow was named one of JaME’s Top 10 Japanese holiday songs. Other artists included in the list were Bump of Chicken, E-Girls, C-ute, Super Sonico/First Astronomical Velocity, Utada Hikaru, Monkey Majik, L’arc-en-Ciel, and Momoiro Clover Z.




Swinging Popsicle releases Mobile Phone lyric video

December 16, 2015 – J-Pop band Swinging Popsicle has released a lyric video for the song “mobile phone”, included on the band’s latest EP flow.

As their 20th anniversary celebration continues, Swinging Popsicle is featured on this month’s cover of Japan’s “Popsicle Clip” magazine, which includes an interview with band members Hironobu Hirata, Mineko Fujishima, and Osamu Shimada. flow was released on CD December 10th in Japan, and will hit iTunes and other digital stores in early 2016.

Swinging Popsicle “flow” special site (with videos and sound samples):!album-flow-special-site/y764w


Swinging Popsicle website:

Swinging Popsicle
Release 2015.12.10

01 seseragi (lyrics: Mineko Fujishima / music: Hironobu Hirata)
02 Small Blue Sailboat (lyrics: Mineko Fujishima / music: Osamu Shimada)
03 mobile phone (lyrics: Mineko Fujishima / music: Hironobu Hirata)
04 at Christmastime (lyrics: Mineko Fujishima / music: Hironobu Hirata)
05 I’ll Be There (Jackson 5 cover)
06 RIBBON (lyrics: Mineko Fujishima / music: Osamu Shimada)

01 I just wanna kiss you
02 Chocolate Soul Music
03 Stay by my side
04 Nothing’s gonna change my world
05 rainbounds


Swinging Popsicle was formed in 1995 when singer Mineko Fujishima and guitarist Osamu Shimada joined bassist Hironobu Hirata through a newspaper ad. The band’s first effort was the Sunny Silent Park EP.

In 1998, their first self-titled full-length album Swinging Popsicle debuted from Sony Music Entertainment at Number 1 in the New Artists category, producing the hit singles “Joy of Living,” “I Love Your Smile,” and “Parade.” After extensive touring, the band returned to the studio for their second album Fennec! (2000).

After starting strong with multiple Sony-label releases, Swinging Popsicle continued to build their international fan base with their independent releases of Change and Orange. Four solid years of writing and performing live throughout Japan produced their most mature and powerful CD titled Transit (2004), featuring signature song “I Just Wanna Kiss You.” In 2005, the band embarked on their first tour to Korea.

2006 marked their United States debut at Fanime MusicFest in San Jose, CA. The same year their song “Clash” was included in a compilation CD with the Korean manga “Cracker.” Performing to regular sold-out one-man live shows in Japan, (some running as long as 3 hours!) the band continued to develop new material for their full-length album Go on (2007), which featured “rainbounds,” “Clash,” and “Chocolate Soul Music.” In June 2007, they returned to America to perform at Anime Mid Atlantic in Richmond, VA, and New York Anime Festival at NYC’s Knitting Factory.

Swinging Popsicle has also contributed music to the NITROPLUS PC games STAR MINE GIRL (SUMAGA), AXANAEL, Kimi to Kanojo to Kanojo to Koi, and various songs for the Nitroplus mascot Super Sonico’s band, Daiichi Uchuu Sokudo. In 2009, the band released the CD Loud Cut, collecting their soundtrack work and remastered versions of some of the member’s favorite early tracks including “Afterglow” and “Let Me Fly”.

Swinging Popsicle members have kept busy in recent years with various solo projects. Guitarist Osamu Shimada formed his own shoegazer band The Caraway and lends support to Seikama II’s Ace Shimizu Project, Face to Ace, Korean pop vocalist Taru, and popular J-Pop artist Fujii Fumiya. Vocalist Mineko Fujishima has performed backing vocals with top-selling J-Pop R&B artist Kusuo, and performs regularly with the experimental 9-drummer band DQS.

Bassist/band leader Hironobu Hirata has acted as music producer for the NITROPLUS games SUMAGA, SUMAGA Special, AXANAEL, and Sonicomi, and provided musical arrangements for artists such as 7!!, Kanako Ito, Kazuhiro Watanabe, Taru (Korea), Yozoh (Korea), and Daiichi Uchuu Sokudo. Hirata also plays support bass for Kusuo and DQS, and was the band leader for Kusuo’s 2012 Budokan live concert. His producer and composition work for Super Sonico’s Love & II+ Peace Plus brought him into Oricon’s Top 50 in June 2012.

Celebrating their 20th anniversary in 2015, Swinging Popsicle will release their new album flow on December 10, 2015.

Swinging Popsicle was nominated as Best Japanese Rock Band by Shojo Beat magazine.
USA appearances include: Fanime (San Jose, CA), Anime Mid-Atlantic (Richmond, VA), New York Anime Festival (New York City)



J-Pop band Swinging Popsicle has announced the release of their new album flow at the end of this year as part of the band’s 20th Anniversary . The 6-track album will feature 3 new songs, 2 previously-released digital-only singles, “at Christmastime” and “mobile phone”, and a cover of The Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There” with guest musicians from Japanese indie mainstays VASALLO CRAB 75 and GOMES THE HITMAN.



May 23, 2015 – J-Pop indies band Swinging Popsicle performed a special double-anniversary live show with longtime friends advantage Lucy on April 29, 2015 at Club Que in Tokyo.

The band treated fans to popular hits from their extensive catalog, including tracks “Joy of Living” from their debut Sony album and “(a) Slow Star” from their SUMAGA video game collaboration with Nitroplus. Foreign fans were also present at the Club Que event, showing evidence the band’s impact overseas from appearances in California (Fanime) and New York (New York Anime Fest).


Japanese indie pioneers performed at multiple US anime events
Contributors to Nitroplus Games STAR MINE GIRL (SUMAGA), AXANAEL, Kimi to Kanojo to Kanojo to Koi, and Super Sonico


February 21, 2015 – Japanese pop-rock band Swinging Popsicle, veterans of multiple U.S. anime conventions (Fanime, New York Anime Festival, Anime Mid-Atlantic), have launched a “20th Anniversary 2015-2017″ website in celebration of their three phases of debuts:



February 3, 2014 – J-Pop band Swinging Popsicle released their latest digital single “Do Your Homework (Remix)” last week on iTunes worldwide. Featuring vocalist Mineko Fujishima’s crystal-clear vocals and a dreamy, electro-bossa-nova melody, the remix of the original 2011 track was inspired by composer Hironobu Hirata’s recent work producing tracks for Nitroplus mascot and anime star Super Sonico.



Swinging Popsicle to perform at Nitro Super Sonic 2013

August 29, 2013 – J-Rock group Swinging Popsicle will perform at Nitroplus game studio’s annual live music event, Nitro Super Sonic 2013, held on September 21 and 22 at Tokyo International Forum. The concert will feature live performances of music from Nitroplus’s vast catalog of projects, including Phantom of Inferno, Steins;Gate, Deus Machina Demonbane, Fate/Zero, Chaos;Head, Saya no Uta, and Robotics;Notes.

Read the complete press release…


Some artists set their sights high, aiming to shake the music industry with an avant-garde style or change listeners’ perceptions of the world. Others focus on making simple, good music. Swinging Popsicle falls into the latter category, and we love them for it. Since 1997, they’ve released breezy, Beatles-inspired music bolstered by smooth melodies and impressive musicianship–Mineko Fujishima’s sweet, understated singing, Osamu Shimada’s tasteful guitar licks, and Hironobu Hirata’s subtly intricate bass work. Swinging Popsicle hasn’t released any new albums since 2009′s Loud Cut, a mash-up of new music and tweaked older recordings, so Hirata took some time to tell us what the band’s been up to via e-mail.

It’s been nearly four years since the release of your last full album of new songs, Go on. What has Swinging Popsicle been up to since then?

Hironobu Hirata: Lately, we’ve been providing music for the PC and Xbox game publisher Nitroplus. We created the song “(a) SLOW STAR” as the main theme of Sumaga, “Perfect Loop” for Sumaga Special, and “Kagonotori” as the end theme for Axanael. We also released the collaboration album with Nitroplus, Loud Cut, which contained some Nitroplus theme songs and new versions of some of our favorite past songs. Swinging Popsicle provided music for and produced an album for Korean vocalist Taru, and we’ve traveled to Korea to perform with her. Personally, I’m also the music producer for a band called “Daiichi Uchuusokudo” featuring the Nitroplus character Super Sonico.

Who are some of the artists you worked with recently in your live shows? Are there any artists you regularly perform with?

Hironobu Hirata: Huckleberry Finn, Akiko Morikawa, Vasallo Crab 75, Keigo Iwase (formerly of 19), Plectrum, and Nitroplus vocalist Kanako Ito have been our favorites to work with recently. Plectrum is a guitar band we’ve worked with for a long time, and the members of sometimes play as support members for Swinging Popsicle’s live shows. They have a wonderful sound, and they have a good relationship with Teenage Fanclub. [Editor’s note: Teenage Fanclub themselves named Plectrum.]

How did Swinging Popsicle start working with game studio Nitroplus on the games soundtracks for “Sumaga” and “Axanael”?

Hironobu Hirata: There was a fan of Swinging Popsicle at Nitroplus, and the company called us to work on music for their games. Pop music is rare in PC game soundtracks, so it was an exciting challenge. The background music for these games is really interesting to me, too, so I’ve become involved in creating the BGM for the games.

How many years has Swinging Popsicle been playing music together? How do you keep your excitement for making music?

Hironobu Hirata: It’s been 15 years since we formed the band: me, Shimada, and Fujishima. It’s pretty rare in our music scene for a band to have the same members for 15 years. Creating music together for a long time makes us feel that our music is very precious, and we grow to love each Swinging Popsicle song. I always appreciate that the other members still play music with me. I constantly focused on keeping a level of creativity and passion that matches the other members, so that the members think “I want to sing this song,” or “I want to play this song.” I also want them to think, “I want to play with Hirata!”

How has the current crisis in Japan affected your songwriting?

Hironobu Hirata: Due to the radiation accident in Fukushima, there were many times that there wasn’t enough electricity and we had many power outages. Some concerts that consume a lot of electricity were canceled, and sometimes the recording was interrupted. A music performance nowadays relies so much on electricity. We participated in a live show called “We can sing even when there’s no electricity.” We also had a live show with only an acoustic guitar, a wood bass, and natural vocals. The song we performed for the first time at that time is our latest song, “Do your Homework.”

But all of that is just the practical effect. The personal effect is much more important. Since the disaster on 3/11, all of the musicians in Japan have started to think about the power that music has. We’re thinking about the things we can accomplish through music, what musicians should do now, and what we should sing about. Each of us are creating new music with “hope.” And we appreciate the days that we can work with music like it’s normal. I believe that this experience will make all music beautiful.

What music style or concept are you focusing on for the next Swinging Popsicle album? What things will surprise long-time Swinging Popsicle fans?

Hironobu Hirata: The core of our music is a warm and catchy melody, good harmonies, and the beautiful voice of Mineko Fujishima. A lot of modern music is often made with machines, and I think it just makes the music sound so similar, and it lacks warmth. Since Mineko’s voice is wonderful and cannot be copied, I would like to improve our musical sound so it can match that level, and when we get there, that’s what makes our songs “Swinging Popsicle.”

Swinging Popsicle Official Website:
Rubber Soul Recordings:



Swinging Popsicle to play special concert in Mexico!

February 13, 2008 – Japanese pop pioneers Swinging Popsicle have been invited as the first-ever musical guest for the 32nd Convencion de Juegos de Mesa y Comics in Monterrey, Mexico. The event will be held March 7-9, 2008, at Monterrey’s Cintermex Center, hosting thousands of Mexican fans of Japanese entertainment.
Read complete press release…


Formed in Japan in 1995, Swinging Popsicle‘s pop style showcases catchy guitar work as well as Fujishima Mineko’s emotional vocals and writing talents. Swinging Popsicle members are Fujishima Mineko [vocals], Shimada Osamu [guitar] and Hirata Hironobu [bass]. In May 2006, the band played for the first time in the USA in San Jose, CA. I talked with Fujishima about the band’s live appearance and what they thought of overseas fans.