I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Iruka -- Kaigan Douri (海岸通)

I have often thought that Iruka(イルカ) is one of the more underrated singers in Japan. Usually when she appears on TV somewhere, it's usually to perform "Nagori Yuki"(なごり雪). That song is great, don't get me wrong on that. However, she has also had many other wonderful tunes in her repertoire.

"Kaigan Douri" (Seafront Street) is one of those songs. Written and composed by Shozo Ise(伊勢正三) of Kaguyahime(かぐや姫) fame for release in April 1979 as her 13th single, Iruka sings about some of the alternately sad/happy feelings a girl has on the titular street after a not-quite/failed love of her life has gotten on that ship heading for that sunset into a new life. I think the magic of this song is that it sounds old and new, folkie yet poppy at the same time. And the melody seems to carry a child-like innocence at the beginning, progressing to a certain maturity which I think is signified by that lovely horn at the end of the refrain. Life may not be fair but it can be educational.

And in the middle of all that is Iruka's wonderfully warm and slightly lived-in vocals. As those adjectives may hint at, her voice represents those comfy slippers or that nice bowl of soup, something I can imagine the singer cooking and offering up.

The song went only as high as No. 24 on Oricon, but it remains one of my little musical treasures in kayo kyoku.

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