Four years after her internationally acclaimed debut album Haru to Shura [Spring and Fall], Haru Nemuri returns with an intense blend of exasperation and optimism on Shunka Ryougen [loosely Setting a Field Ablaze in Spring]. If Haru to Shura was a fully formed noise rock, experimental hip-hop beast, tight and polished, on Ryougen Nemuri decides that the way forward is to strip back and deconstruct her sound. Nemuri’s compositional abilities shine as she matches her vocal deliveries to a plethora of different musical genres and ideas. “Anata wo hanasanaide” [Never Let You Go], a standout track, deals heavily with ideas of self-destruction – one of many tracks to focus on despair and frustration. Ryougen’s epic climax, “Ikiru” [To Live], however, is a song of love and acceptance of the struggles of modern life, a powerful closing message. Grandiose, raw and beautifully unhinged, while not every idea on Shunka Ryougen is necessarily fully formed, Nemuri’s second full-length is a testament to her reputation as an innovator and risk-taker.
Listen to “Ikiru” below.