Even though music typically gets attributed to a single artist, oftentimes, it’s a collaborative effort. People work together, influence each other, befriend, banter on twitter. If you like one artist, chances are people close to that artist will interest you as well. This connection is an important link to me, as I discovered music that I still listen to daily. The link between two singers, Annabel and Yanagi Nagi, and the composer bermei.inazawa, and the sounds they have in common.
Back in 2007, a little over 5 years ago, a very special anime aired (by special I mean DEENy). Quality of said anime aside, it had an amazing ending song. Sung by Annabel, and composed by bermei.inazawa, formed the group anNina and created “taishou a”.
What immediately captured me was the soft yet strong voice over the lively instruments playing weird melodies. This song started my love for Annabel’s voice, and Inazawa’s compositions. Together as anNina they would release two singles and an album, natal. The closing track on Natal is a remix taishou a, changing the time signature from 3/4 to 5/8. (If you don’t know what that means, don’t worry. If you do, you should recommend me more of something similar because it’s amazing and awesome.)
Moving on to 2009, Yanagi Nagi gained more widespread western acknowledgement after cooperating with supercell in the Bakemonogatari ending song, Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari. I’m still not a big fan of that song, so I largely ignored the hustle around it. But there’s more to Nagi than supercell, and I discovered this through binaria, a collab group with none other than Annabel!
The track above, 花紺青, is good at representing how well Annabel and Nagi’s voices collapse, their similarities but also their differences. Nagi takes the higher pitchier voice, Annabel the lower and deeper sounds, both exchanging their roles as support and leader in this wonderful duet. Yoshihisa Nagao, who prepares most of binaria’s arrangements, and who I admittedly know little about, although he has an impressive track record, seems to prefer electronic tunes where Inazawa would sometimes still use the piano or strings.
Returning to the present, early 2012 Nagi is heading out in her solo debut, starting with the Ano Natsu ending song. Now imagine my joy when I heard she’d working with Inazawa by contributing four tracks to Jormungand! Our triangle is finally complete…
Honestly, I don’t think these tracks fit Jormungand at all. Jormungand to me is more a jokingly awesome show, and both Nagi and Inazawa’s work feel a bit more serious than that. Still, I’m grateful for what I can get, and I sure got something! Ambivalent Idea is a typical Inazawa song, slowly building up with lyrical and melodies.
Laterality is a bit rougher than I’m used to from Inazawa, but you can still tell it’s him from the jazzy piano in the background bouncing off the guitar. Of course, Nagi has shown she can excel in a range of genres, though I think she lacks a bit of power here.
All three artists posses an impressive body of work. My wish for the future, Santa be willing, is these three working together on a single. Stylistically and personally they’re close to each other. A strong connection really does make a difference. I can only imagine the music coming out of that trio would be something to remember.
Edit: Don’t know how I got the idea Inazawa did both Jormungand endings, but he only did one.