Happy Holidays from Otaquest, hope you are enjoying them. While I’d ideally like to just zone out and stare at a YouTube loop of a fireplace for hours on end, electronic creator Yunomi offered up something much better on Christmas day in Japan. The producer dropped a new video for their recent song “Semishigure,” which you can check out below.
The song itself emerged online a couple of months ago and features vocals from singer-songwriter Haruka Fukuhara. Given Yunomi’s track record of maximalist bangers with a traditional twist — moment of appreciation for the temple-ready bounce of “Oedo Controller” — “Semishigure” comes off as slightly more subdued than most of the cuts in his catalog. Still, that’s judging on a curve. The song starts pretty sparsely, with some melodic wooze and a simple (but effective) beat nudging everything forward. It allows Fukuhara’s singing to really take central place here, and as Yunomi gradually builds up the drama of the song by adding in heavier elements, her delivery picks up in urgency (while never going over the top). While this one still drops, it isn’t quite as claustrophobic as previous Yunomi productions, rather leaving a little space for traditional Japanese sounds to sneak in.
The accompanying clip underlines Yunomi’s merger of the past and present well, while matching the mood just right. It mixes animation with shots of temples and sleepy suburban streets, focused on some barely-there characters, one of which is like a half-fox woman. The generally reflective atmosphere of the video works well alongside a song that, save for the aforementioned drop, is far more melancholy than most of Yunomi’s work.
It’s a nice gift, and a lovely final offering from Yunomi, who had a pretty good 2019 overall. Here’s to seeing what they get up to next year.