Harunemuri doesn’t represent a new standard in Japanese pop music, but she does point towards a direction where a lot of things are starting to go. Last year’s Atom Heart Mother (really!!) offered a great introduction into what she’s all about, placing her rap-sing delivery in the spotlight against a mix of wonky beats and one instance of what sounds like an attempt at recreating Gesu No Kiwami Otome. She has creative and left-field-ready ideas for days, though the album could use a little tightening up, but if Daoko’s ascension to J-pop limelight left you letdown, that album should soothe the pain.
What’s striking about that album and now new song “Yume Wo Miyou” (off her full-length debut out next month) is how a lot of trends bubbling up in J-pop over the last few years collide here. As mentioned, Harunemuri’s most defining characteristic is how she sings, in a rap-crashing-with-sing-song style bringing to mind Daoko or — especially over the zippy piano lines here — KOM_I of Suiyoubi No Campanella. Yet then she barrels into the chorus, where she ramps up the intensity, approaching a shout. Not to get too comparison heavy, but it’s a bridge between Izumi Makura and Oomori Seiko. A lot of modern touches appear, but Harunemuri still manages to get her own personality through. I think a lot more artists are going to be doing the same in the near future. Listen above.