The post where I drop all pretenses.
If you have not yet heard Uematsu Hidemi, do yourself a favor and listen to her NOW.
Did you press play yet? No? What is wrong with you? Do it. NOW.
Okay, now that you have listened to/watched the video, we can move on. (You have, right?)
Because there’s already a blog dedicated to promoting Hidemi as a godsend, I’ll spare you my own godsend praises in giving you an introduction, short of her being a 23-year-old singer-songwriter. TRAUMA, the video above, is not her latest single – but it’s the second of two tracks on her debut single (her second, Jidai, comes out early next month) and extremely touching.
As you have heard by now (I’m sure you’ve heard it, yes?), Hidemi’s got a strong voice and fairly unique. It’d be simple but unflattering to describe her singing as a mix of AI and alan (or perhaps as a friend of mine puts it, enka singing), but it’s the best description that comes to mind at the moment. As for her music, it seems best to reference Amano Tsukiko.
TRAUMA, above, is a powerful song combining a steady drum & bass with various grandstanding strings and a twinkling synth. The music alone evokes sad emotions and a rainy mood, but it’s Hidemi’s raw vocals that make the biggest impact on this song. If YouTube comments can be trusted, the song is supposedly about the father who left her and her mother, and explains the hook of cries to “daddy” (i.e., “I need you need you Daddy” and “I’m crying crying Daddy”) leading up to the dramatic (if amusing) “dundundundundundundun Remember” that ends the chorus. This will grow and catch on you, but it’s a moving track even without the draw of the hook.
Dear My Friends, the first track of her debut single, is a more acoustic track, with tempo kept by a combination of handclaps and drumbeats. Again, Hidemi’s vocals are the main focus of the song, soulful in their delivery. You pretty much expect a gospel choir to pop up, singing along with her in the chorus, and though they never appear, the song isn’t any lacking for it. That the music stops suddenly as she wails out “Friends” in the end adds a stronger emotion to the song, something that is oft used to the right effect but never quite as touching as it is here.
If you actually just read through this post without giving either of the above songs a listen, you should be ashamed of yourself. What are you reading my blog for if not for me to push things onto you? Hurry and give Hidemi a listen. If you have the same taste in music as me (and I would assume you might to be reading this blog), it’s not likely you’ll regret it.