Haruka Nakamura – Arne

The suggested videos section on the right side of any Youtube clip is an underrated way to find music you haven’t heard before. Powered (I assume) by the NSA-pleasing magic of Google’s user-info algorithm, the suggestions will usually do a decent job of leading you to songs similar to the one that you are listening to.

Until a few days ago, I had no idea who Haruka Nakamura was. I still mostly don’t. Judging by the name I would guess that it’s a female Japanese artist… and that’s about it. What I did find, though, is that she makes just about the loveliest, mellowest songs around. Normally – and being honest – if you find an artist through a song that you like on the internet, you would be lucky to get another tune of similar quality from the said creator. Nakamura has at least 3-4 others that jump straight to the ears and stay there, swirling and caressing your mind until you want to lean back, put the headphones on, and lose yourself for 4 exquisite minutes. The really great thing about ‘Arne’ is that, as good as the opening instrumental is, it has the guts to introduce a beguiling bit of pixie singing halfway in, that should in most circumstances sound jarring but in fact totally melds with the song, making it even more charming and otherworldly. There are plenty of artists gunning for online hits with supposedly meditative music which is in truth just a listless sequence of moderately diverting major chords. ‘Arne’ in contrast is a patient, purposeful track which remembers that sometimes it helps to create a little bit of drama for the listener. Nakamura’s other standout tracks are ‘Madobe (窓邊)‘, ‘Lamp‘ and ‘Lang‘.

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