Haru Nemuri Lets Her Soul Run Ablaze in 'Shunka Ryougen' [Q&A]

Treasure. We are constantly looking for it and by its very nature it remains elusive. Considering the enormity of music being released everyday, to strike any vein of originality is near miraculous, but to encounter a trove of fearless, idiosyncratic album brimming with creativity is atypical, and everything about Haru Nemuri is comfortably atypical.  

After hearing Nemuri's sophomore album  Shunka Ryougen, which is very comfortably in album of the year territory already, we decided to reach out to this Japanese maverick to try and gaze into the sun without going blind.

Who is Haru Nemuri?

Haru Nemuri: A singer-songwriter.

What is Shunka Ryougen all about?

I constantly think about living and dying throughout this life, but it can be said that those days have come to fruition. It probably could be said that it is an imagined scenery at the time when the soul burns.

You mix, match and reinvent so many influences. How do you settle on sound design and song composition?

If I find one loop that sounds cool, I prepare something that has the impression of destroying it (It can be something like the opposite, or something that you wouldn’t normally combine) and then I put my thoughts into how I can match those. Regarding the development of songs, I will prepare something like, if normally done it would go towards pop and something that is not kitsch, and combine them while looking at the balance.

On such a huge work, there must be collaborators and producers; care to mention any standouts?

Generally all the songs are almost arranged by the time I finish writing the songs by myself. And then sometimes I would have a co-producer join me to amplify the world of the song. There are several co-producers who joined me this time including: MyRiot, YAMACHI, samayuzame, Minori Nagashima -serval DOG-, Sisters, Amane Uyama, Tatsuya Okuwaki, URU, GINPEI ITO, Takayuki Kato.

I completed the song through an online session with MyRiot for "Déconstruction." I love AURORA’s music, and I wanted to work with someone who made music with her, so I took my chance and asked and they were happy to join (laugh). The process was really creative and I enjoyed it alot!
I completed the song "Pandora" with samayuzame. I was thrilled the whole time because she showed her amazing creativity and did a job that exceeded expectations with the vector I expected.

I also finished the song "Souzou Suru" with Amane Uyama. Of all the people who make music called 'hyperpop' in Japan, she is my favorite musician in that genre. I always laugh so hard because I get something I really don't expect.

What makes the cut for an album track? You clearly had tons to filter through. How do you curate yourself?

From the time I decided to make this album, I have written the songs necessary for this album, so it can be said that the curation process was finished at the stage of composition.

Can we expect more of this style in the future or do you tire easily of what you've experimented with already?

Hmm, I'd say don’t expect the exact same thing (laughter). I was so devoted to making this album that I can’t really think of what’s next right now, but eventually I will need to create something that is more of an advanced version of the current style. Before that though, I do feel that I want to create something that prioritizes what I feel comfortable in.

Besides this excellent album, what else should we be on the lookout for?

I'm trying to plan an album tour, so please listen to the album over and over again and be prepared to sing with me (laughter).

What's inspiring you right now outside of music?

Martial arts, anarchism, feminism, fashion, and the stray cats in my neighborhood.

Your album drops alongside Earth Day. How does the natural environment affect you personally?

It reminds us of the fact that the world was just there and was created beautifully in the first place. It helps me to live, as I often despair in the human world.

Who are your Ones To Watch?

AURORA, Pussy Riot, Dorian Electra, Grimes, Jaguar Jonze, Lim Kim, Shamir, Ziyoou-vachi

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