12 June 2014

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu - Yume No Hajima Ring Ring

I have been fortunate enough to travel to Tokyo twice this year for work reasons. The first trip was at the end of February and the second at the end of March. It was during that second visit to Japan when I was introduced to Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, the Empress of J-Pop

After being told to check her out, back in my hotel room later that evening I typed her name in to YouTube and with it being her most recent song at the time, I played Yume No Hajima Ring Ring. It wasn't what I was expecting at all. 

Anticipating some dreary ballad or an EDM nightmare, I was pleasantly surprised that this song wasn't anything like that - It was considered, playful, oddly dreamlike, with that nagging piano motif keeping me locked in. 

Yume No Hajima Ring Ring has this weird sense of longing and melancholy to it, but it isn't depressing; it feels hopeful and bittersweet. I was hooked and have been quietly obsessed with this song ever since.

Of course, not being able to speak Japanese I was unable to work out what Kyary Pamyu Pamyu was singing and what the song was about. I was just drawn to this exotic and strangely catchy pop song.

Going online when I returned to the UK I fortunately stumbled upon this post on the blog Super Happy Awesome that helpfully analysed the song and translated the lyrics in to English. It's where I discovered that it's a 'graduation' song about moving on to the next stage in your life or coming of age, a theme popular in Japanese culture especially amongst young people. The blog I have linked to explains more. 

Yume No Hajima Ring Ring is a song dealing with the sadness of growing-up and moving on to the next stage of your life and having to leave your old life behind. It is testament to the strength of the song that I was able to pick up on these themes without understanding the lyrics and being ignorant to the clues laid out in the video.

As the Super Happy Awesome blog explains, in the video we see Kyary Pamyu Pamyu 'graduating' through the different stages of her life so far. The video depicts her leaving versions of her old self behind, shedding a tear each time before moving on to the next phase. This video is almost meta in the fact that it cleverly references her career up to this point; from student to the breakthrough of her first song PonPonPon, through to Fashion Monster and eventually we see her in a hakama at the end for the graduation section. It's perfectly and beautifully executed. 

Something about this song has resonated with me, I can't stop listening to it even now a few months down the line. Part of the reason for writing this blog is to try and work out what it is about this song that makes me keep going back to it. It's definitely my song of the year so far. 

It was a welcome delight to discover that she makes absolutely bonkers pop music with equally delightful and surreal music videos. Although I know that I shouldn't look too much in to this, I am perturbed to find that the YouTube plays for Yume No Hajima Ring Ring lag far behind those of her other songs. Perhaps not everyone appreciates the subtleties as much as I do?

I have also put together this post on the 5 must-watch Kyary Pamyu Pamyu music videos.

Read my track-by-track review of Pika Pika Fantajin by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love this post! I definitely think it is a testament to the song that you were able to get the feeling without knowing the exact translation. I'm so glad that my analysis could help :D