Yumi Nu Kicks Off a New Beginning With the Irresistible 'Hajime'
The loose metaphors of music journalism allow for a wide breadth of analogous language, but it’s rare when music sounds as an artist looks. Descriptively, we often see places, objects, or behaviors that match people we know, but on her latest EP, Hajime, Yumi Nu has made her music a visual key to herself.
The intimacy and depth of the project are unsurprising - she revealed most of the project is her actual writing. It’s a product of a respite from writing, reducing the pressure on the princess, which uncorked a more meaningful autobiographical effort. Hence Hajime, which translates “the beginning” in Japanese, is a rebirth of Yumi's talent. It’s a much more reflective effort, truly a self-portrait reflecting her truth. True to life, it is hard not to lose yourself looking inward. As Nu herself says, "I've grown so much as a songwriter and artist since the beginning and this project simultaneously feels like the start for me, while also an accumulation of everything I've learned and who I've become."
Hajime is a collection of singles, each a delightful pocket of feelings and moods, all cast in her sultry R&B sound, stirred gently into a delicate rhythm by her salubrious voice, a soothing tonality that lulls you into trance-like appreciation. Opening with an older single "Bouquets," the pace of the EP is set, a fresh and fruity textured song with a sludgy drum sound that slowly pushes you to an understated chorus. "Sin" is a fresh song off the EP, a bouncy track that creates a firm base for Nu's airy lyrics. It’s a song that has a fluttery, lighter-than-air feeling. "Sandcastles" has larger, plush energy, and a stadium-made pop sound, which it accomplishes without leaving Nu's intimate voice behind, instead highlighting her vocal strength. "Gully" is a favorite for her day one fans, a funky bassline upon which drips over her voice like watering a thirsty plant. At this tempo,Nui's cadence is attached perfectly, a genuine, sweet song for cloudy days. "Illusions" takes a small turn, both vibe and tempo-wise, adhere to a more alt-indie vibe, a personal favorite on the project. "Pots and Pans" is another single from 2021 that, at the time of its release, hinted at the searching narratives of her new works. It’s a song about other people’s drama (always the best fodder for inspiration).
Overall, Hajime is a jewel to add to Nu's already significant sparkle. The delectable approach, reminiscent of her grandmother’s memoir, makes the EP feel like an intergenerational gift, an epilogue of success that sounds as beautiful as a new beginning feels, a fresh face for old emotions to navigate to happiness.
Listen to Hajime below: