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.

Monday, February 1, 2021

Higurashi -- Bamen(場面)


Ever since I first realized that the folk/New Music band Higurashi(日暮し)was the group behind the beautifully breezy "Aki no Tobira"(秋の扉), a song that I had searched far and long in terms of its identity for literally a few decades, whenever I see anything by them on YouTube, the SOP with me is that I take notice and write about it if possible. Standard operating procedure hasn't changed this time, either.

"Aki no Tobira" was Higurashi's September 1978 single but it was also a track on the band's final album "Kioku no Kajitsu"(記憶の果実...The Fruits of Memory) released in 1979. Now, I've found one other track on the album that is also resonating with me quite nicely.

"Bamen" (Scene), as its title would indicate, paints a very pleasant summery and breezy scene. It begins with some splendid piano with chords that have created that ASMR vibe up my spine, and it additionally helps that keyboardist/vocalist Naomi Sugimura(杉村尚美) nee Sakakibara(榊原尚美)is absolutely wonderful behind the mike. Plus, there is that 1970s City Pop/AOR keyboard haze effect here as well along with some fine solo guitar. The song starts slowly but then gets into a nice gallop on the road.

Written by Higurashi leader Seiichi Takeda(武田清一)and composed by Kazumi Nakaboshi*(中星一美), "Bamen" and "Aki no Tobira" are such lovely pieces that I would love to get my hands on "Kioku no Kajitsu" someday, if the album still exists on the market. However, I do have their BEST compilation so it's still good. Incidentally, I have been remiss in not relating the entire band lineup. I've already mentioned vocalist Sugimura and leader/guitarist Takeda, but I should give out the name for the third member in the lineup, guitarist Yukio Nakamura(中村幸雄). There was a fourth member, guitarist Yoshio Noma(野間義男)but he was with the band only for 1974.

*The composer's name has a number of readings, especially for the given name, so if someone can clarify this, I would be most appreciative.

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