Haru Nemuri
Haru to Shura


4.5
superb

Review

by Momentai USER (5 Reviews)
April 16th, 2019 | 28 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Climactic Noise Pop

Bursting forth in an unstoppable stream of static, the one-two punch of album openers “Make More Noise of You” and “鳴らして/Cry out" set a commanding precedent for the fury of conflicting emotions contained within this brilliant debut album. Both these songs help introduce us to the dichotomy of styles on display here. The dissonance of the instrumentals and the relentless anthemic energy of Haru Nemuri’s chaotic vocal delivery strike a perfect balance, creating feelings of euphoria amidst the darker landscapes.

Haru to Shura is an album that thrives on this chaotic premise. Songs that start with plastic and artificial electronic beats will manifest into raw anthems of anger and sadness, while songs that catapult forward with distorted intensity will settle into catchy rhythms and infectious groves. Songs like “Underground” and “Lost Planet” are two of the shorter songs that represent this evolving emotive style in a relatively quick amount of time. The deliberately paced chant of “U F O” in Lost Planet is as catchy as it is unnerving, making it hard to know when to blissfully sing along, and when to take pause in uncertain horror.

This diverse emotional range is what gives the album so much of its’ staying power. It’s hard to tire of songs that confidently mix such disparate sensations into an easy to understand and relatable formula.

To say that Haru to Shura is an emotionally gripping album would be an understatement. Through the spiral of Haru Nemuri’s spoken word verses, poppy chants, and throat tearing screams, each word is delivered with unwavering sincerity and confidence. For just a taste of her powerful vocals, the title track displays a repetition of the lyrics “光って あおく光って”. As the song progresses and evolves, so does her implementation of that same phrase. At first its’ spoken softly but quickly, giving off the feeling that those lyrics are just a small part of a bigger picture. But eventually those soft words begin to escalate, now reflecting the growing urgency of the howling instruments. Eventually all other words dissolve, and we are left alone with nothing but those same words. Her tone now matching the messy dissonance of the guitar as she repeats it, over and over and over, until a lonely distorted scream carries us into the silence.

Repetition is just one of the many aspects of the album that lend it its’ signature uncomfortable emotive resonance. The melodic electronic samples on songs like “せかいをとりかえしておくれ/Take Back the World” are implemented so well that even the most artificial and robotic sounds become human and relatable. Its through tricks like these that one of the album’s best qualities becomes very apparent.

The climaxes reached on Haru to Shura are nothing short of extraordinary. The soft flickering noise at the end of “Rock N’ Roll wa Shinanai” offers just enough sanctuary from the unflinching and desperate screams that punctuate its’ final moments of chaos. The explosive aggression in the final stretch of “鳴らして /Cry out” revels in the repetition of Haru Nemuri’s deranged screams. Moments like these are unforgettable, and the album is full of these breath taking sections. However, the ways in which these climactic moments are reached are the true standout of the album.

There is catharsis in every wavering second of Haru Nemuri’s ferocious growls, and in the steady flow of noise that hovers beneath them. But there is also catharsis in restraint. By holding back and letting songs develop, each climactic moment is strengthened. We are not constantly being overwhelmed by waves of impenetrable screams. There is no barrage of endless finality in every spoken word. Each song is given time to grow and build organically. All the meandering and carefully constructed monotony makes the deranged moments so much more powerful. Moments like the sped up vocals in the middle section of the title track wouldn't be so impactful if it wasn't for the hazy and slow build that occurs before them. Then the final emotional refrain wouldn't be as affecting if it wasn't for the calm that proceeds that section either.

There is catharsis in restraint. There is meaning in the static that prefaces the storm. Haru to Shura fully embraces the ebbs and flows of not just its’ musical juxtapositions, but also the push and pull of its’ own identity.


user ratings (86)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
JohnnyoftheWell CONTRIBUTOR (4)
A distorted celebration of Japanese pop wholesomeness...

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Comments:Add a Comment 
Momentai
April 16th 2019


138 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

There is already a wonderful review of this album but I have just fallen in love with everything about this and wanted to get some of my thoughts out there. I cant get over how many songs on here absolutely blow me away.

JohnnyoftheWell
Contributing Reviewer
April 16th 2019


14211 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yessss such an awesome album, hard pos

"Songs that start with plastic and artificial electronic beats will manifest into raw anthems of anger and sadnesses"

This is the essence of the whole thing for me; she makes distorted, artificial sounds seem so personable throughout this and you get the sense of that across v well throughout the review. Have a quick edit though, just to make sure Sput's autocensor doesn't slay Narashite and Sekaiwotoriakaeshiteokure ;]

Digging: Ichiko Aoba - QP

Momentai
April 16th 2019


138 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Holy shit LOL never dealt with the sputnik censor before LOL. Used your japanese names and translations instead haha. Thank you so much for your kind words! Yeah I couldnt agree more. Sometimes there is an otherworldly quality to her voice through various effects but she cuts through that with her sheer passion(and amazing lyrics) and makes me relate extremely hard.

JohnnyoftheWell
Contributing Reviewer
April 16th 2019


14211 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ah that works fine (that 鳴 kanji looking so fine), but in future it works if you just edit and retype everything once - it isn't censored after the initial upload

Relistening to this and it's as fresh as ever, might just edge out mewithoutYou as my 2018 AOTY. Your review got me looking at the lyrics more closely (with the benefit of slightly improved Japanese) and the picking individual words apart makes it much easier to appreciate her delivery, especially on the title track. Lots of catchy repeated lines too

JohnnyoftheWell
Contributing Reviewer
April 16th 2019


14211 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Love that while 鳴る/鳴らして can be for inanimate things too, the kanji 鳴 and the other verb 鳴く are associated with animal/nature sounds. Feels very apt

Momentai
April 16th 2019


138 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I love her lyrics so much. Even with my limited(but growing!) japanese. She takes abstract ideas and delivers them with such resolve It almost makes me tear up. I love that the album flows so well that it functions as basically one long song. But i also love a lot of the individual tracks here. With only one song I just dont care too much for. Also "yumemomiyou" gives me Maybeshewill post rock vibes and I think that style fits so good with the vocals i love it.

JohnnyoftheWell
Contributing Reviewer
April 16th 2019


14211 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, even in translation the imagery and passion here are so so good and the continuity and sequencing are absolutely on point, really good use of interludes. Yume Wo Miyou in general is just perfect, cannot get enough of that track. I'm guessing the one you're not so fond of is Yoru Wo Oyoideta since it's the only one you didn't mention?

Momentai
April 16th 2019


138 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Pertty much yep! It has a catchy beat and it makes for a fun break in the middle of some hard hitting stuff but overall sounds a bit standard compared to how good the other stuff. Like what a great closer "rock n roll..." is. Both singers going ham in sequence are so good.

JohnnyoftheWell
Contributing Reviewer
April 16th 2019


14211 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ah gotcha, I like its more measured feel after Sekai... and dig how it picks up at the end. If I had to pick a weak link it'd be Underground, but even that is pretty decent

JohnnyoftheWell
Contributing Reviewer
April 16th 2019


14211 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Btw, have you heard Maison Book Girl - Yume? Quite different sound and style from this but somewhat comparable as far as quirky Japanese pop from last year goes, and with a similar sense of cohesion and segue

Momentai
April 16th 2019


138 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah i can see Underground being a low point for some but for me it flows well after how crazy Narashite is LOL. I think Lost Planet is the lowkey diamond of the record. Has a little of everyting I love. And yeah checking out Maison book girl now. Listened to 夢 and Im super loving it. Quirky ethereal pop? The angelic strings are really intriguing me as well as some background noise and the vocal trade off? Ill look into the whole album now!



JohnnyoftheWell
Contributing Reviewer
April 16th 2019


14211 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It defo works in the running order, but I wouldn't pick it out for an individual listen yaknow? Lost Planet is a similar story imo but defo has more going for it

Ah yeah, that track got me hooked to begin with too! Album is a bit of a mouthful but v much worth the trip

Momentai
April 16th 2019


138 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Any chance youve listened to her "kick in the world" single. I cant get over how good it is live. She replaces the pop shout of the record version with one of her most visceral screams and it sounds so good.

JohnnyoftheWell
Contributing Reviewer
April 16th 2019


14211 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Damn what nooo this sounds excellent though. Do you have a link?

Momentai
April 16th 2019


138 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAy9RMy1Igk



Thats the music video for the studio version of the song.



and here is the live version

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92nAbq1Ws38



When she does the final bit in the live version its so coooooool

JohnnyoftheWell
Contributing Reviewer
April 16th 2019


14211 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Shit yeah, that live is fantastic. She has such a great stage presence, hope she gets big enough to have a support band sometime soon...

Momentai
April 16th 2019


138 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

God I need her to have a full backing band for all that delicious guitar distortion live right behind her amazing stage presence. Can only hope she comes to the states eventually. And with that being her latest single im really excited about her next full album now.

JohnnyoftheWell
Contributing Reviewer
April 16th 2019


14211 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, huge hype for a follow-up! According to her Fb, she's pretty damn keen to reach the states (and meanwhile I'll be glad to catch her in the UK in June ;]). Chances are she'll drop a new album and use it to springboard her way towards a half-decent US booking agent, but we'll see...

JohnnyoftheWell
Contributing Reviewer
April 16th 2019


14211 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Is her Atom Heart Mother EP to scratch with this btw? Still haven't checked it

Momentai
April 16th 2019


138 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Im still really into her song with Prune Deer. Her melancholic tone and lyrics build so well with the colorful guitar tapping and when she explodes with the みんなのうた 殺して scream into the うたいたい refrain. It really hits me hard. As for Atom Heart Mother I liked a few thing about it but iv only done one full listen and it didnt capture me as immediately as Haru to Shura so idk. Will def listen more but imo shes only on to bigger and better things in the future! ah i follow her on twitter but my japanese isnt good enough to get everything she says.



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