A year after the release of singer-songwriter Haru Nemuri’s first album 春と修羅 (Haru To Shura), a European limited version was released via the French label Specific Recordings. The release was scheduled for 26 April and was sold out in one day. The re-release of the LP has also been released, since 29 May, the start date of Haru Nemuri’s European tour, organised by Kojinmari Agency. Haru To Shura is printed on 180 grams of vinyl, which means that it is a heavier and thicker plate that increases the durability of the vinyl. The first edition in vinyl was released in a coloured mix of turquoise and white instead of the typical black, of which 500 copies were released.
Haru to Shura stands for Spring and Carnage, it sounds like a twisted title, but also pretty intriguing. If you look at the cover, which is in the same style as the regular CD version, it certainly gives off a spring-like vibe, with the pastel colours with a yellow colour that stands out enormously in addition to the softer colours. But the so-called carnage will in all probability refer to the content of the poetry rap of the musician herself. The title is a nod to Kenji Miyazawa’s poetry collection, titled Spring & Asura. The vinyl version is shortened, the remixes are omitted. In addition, the album titles are in English, for convenience the Japanese titles are also included in the tracklist in this article.
1. MAKE MORE NOISE OF YOU
2. NARASHITE (鳴らして)
3. UNDERGROUND (アンダーグラウンド)
4. HARU TO SHURA (春と修羅)
6. LOST PLANET (ロストプラネット)
7. TAKE BACK THE WORLD (せかいをとりかえしておくれ)
1. NIGHT SWIMMING / NINETEEN (夜を泳いでた / ナインティーン)
2. LET’S DREAM (ゆめをみよう)
4. ROCK’N’ROLL NEVER DIES (ロックンロールは死なない, with Totsuzen Shonen)
Haru Nemuri is supported by various musicians to give the background of her poetic words more power and filling, it ultimately ensures a good finish. She received support from, among others, Masayuki Hasuo, currently active in the pop rock band siraph, previously active in school food punishment.
The music of Haru Nemuri may not be suitable for everyone. At one moment she shares her poetic words with the audience in complete tranquillity, at the other moment she will be shouting the words with great emotion. It comes with a blow and knows to touch the heart immediately. Her lyrics are often penetrating and dark, but also motivating at other times. She is chanting her lyrics without a moment of pause, so you can’t help but surrender to her music and the power of her lyrics.
In the song UNDERGROUND, Haru shares with the listener that the listener itself has ensured that Haru has become the ultimate weapon. Something she even shares on her social media, in some cases she calls herself a deadly weapon. And she has it, the powerful weapon, her voice, her poetry and the fact that she can express it to a large audience. The fact that she tells you to let yourself be heard and that this feels good should serve as a motivation for those who listen to her music, such as the song MAKE MORE NOISE OF YOU. You just have to be open to it.
If you listen to the title track of the album without preparation and think that the LP has started to play much faster by itself, that is not the case. It is also audible in the same way on the CD version. But it ensures that you pay attention to whether everything is still okay with the physical release. Slightly misleading, though, but causes a smile as it is also very smart of the musician to add some distortion as if there is a mistake on the album.
Haru’s favourite sentence is 鳴らして, also one of the titles on her album, which can stand for crying out or calling to make some noise. You will hear this statement a number of times in her songs on this album.
All in all, the album has many catchy choruses and an uplifting vibe with a fluctuation between noise pop and heavy rock, thanks to the addition of the (distorted) guitar and the combination of the rap of Haru Nemuri that goes perfectly well with the flow. There is plenty of variety on the album. It creates a unique sound that is hard to surpass.
Haru Nemuri’s music rages past you, knows how to touch you and ensures that you learn more about the story the musician wants to tell. There are no gimmicks. The story that has now been told until now may not be enough, but Haru Nemuri is still busy telling her story and she is not nearly finished yet. Haru to Shura is her first real album and after the release on CD her second maxi single and two digital singles were released. The European vinyl version of her first album is really a great addition to the growing collection of music that Haru Nemuri is going to release. Set it at high volume for a better result.