Aimer released two albums on 10th April, Sun Dance and Penny Rain. The second interview focuses on the album with the theme of Rain, Penny Rain. This is the third of four parts in this interview.
You can check out Aimer Sun Dance Interview here!
The image of the next stage beyond Sun and Rain
Following that would be the 8th song, a new recording titled i-mage <in/AR>. The lyrics, composition and arrange was done entirely by Sawano, who also did ninelie. It’s been 2 years and 10 months since you last worked with him on such a collaboration.
It’s been a long time since we did an entirely new recording…is what I wanted to say but I participated in the recording of this song in Sawano’s album, R∃/MEMBER. This is actually a re-arrange of i-mage with re-done vocals for Penny Rain. For this song, there’s lyrics that goes “Just take a shower next to the sunlight and rain.”
I feel this one phrase synchronises the concept of this album perfectly but the impact was amplified when I actually sang it. For me in particular, this song lets me gaze upon an image of the next stage beyond the Sun and Rain. In saying that, I wanted to use i-mage <in/AR> at the beginning of the album but I decided to put it near the end at the 8th track.
By the way the <in/AR> in the track i-mage <in/AR> is an anagram of Rain correct?
That’s right. I thought that perhaps AR came from using the first and last letter of my name? That’s what I feel but I’ll ask Sawano next time. (laughs)
You met with Sawano during the recording?
Yes. For the re-arrange I left it to Sawano too. It’s thanks to Sawano’s RE:I AM that I am able to be here now. I believe that song is the origin of Aimer’s “strength”. Therefore I’m glad we were able to record a new song together when he was releasing his new album.
i-mage <in/AR> is undoubtedly a Sawano song but it is very much unlike RE:I AM and StarRingChild which has a heavy rock ballad feel.
This is probably a first for me in receiving a song that feel so open in a melodic and lyrical point of view unlike everything so far. The message in i-mage <in/AR> is really positive, and the tune feels as if more light shines on it as time passes. Singing it felt really fresh, and my voice felt more enhanced singing it. It really felt that it was a new song worth collaborating for.
Especially for the first chorus, you couldn’t feel any of the force that Sawano usually uses. You can only feel calm.
That’s right. Since i-mage <in/AR> is merely a re-arrange the song isn’t changed much but in order to get closer to the image of Rain, Sawano reduced the number of notes in the first chorus. In doing so, the song felt a lot lighter than the original. However as you have mentioned before, this is definitely still a Sawano song.
Therefore, for those of you who have heard of me thanks to Sawano’s album, I’ll be very glad if you’d also enjoy this <in/AR> version. The same goes for the other way round. As I have also mentioned earlier, to be able to work with Sawano at this timing once again, this song has opened so many interesting new paths.
The end is just a gentle shower
And now the last two songs, the first being another Kajiura produced song, Hana no Uta and a new song, April Showers, to close off the album. The last song once again feels like vintage Aimer, ending off with a ballad.
It’s similar to the beginnings of my career, when I only sang songs of the night. I could have done something similar to the best album noir, where I ended with a strong track like zero but, this time I didn’t really have an authentic ballad. I do have Ref:rain and Sailing but I wanted something more akin to a gentle ballad to end the album with.
The piano and strings arrange feels very much like classic Aimer as well.
Yes. At that time I didn’t have many songs with a guitar in them. In this song it wasn’t just putting in the strings instruments but everything was recorded live. Ideally it’s best to end with a gentle shower. By the way, when we filmed the jacket for Penny Rain there was a massive downpour and everyone was soaking wet after. (laughs)
Hahaha (laughs). To you, what does April Showers, or rain in April, mean to you?
Originally, there’s an English idiom that says “April showers bring May flowers.” I used that idiom as a base to make the lyrics for the song. For an album releasing in April and a concept of Rain, I could easily imagine how the song would be.
In the lyrics you mentioned about how even when there’s the skylark and rain in April, you end off with the flowers in May blooming. It’s an entirely different tension than that in SUN DANCE and yet it felt so complementary.
I felt really satisfied in the creation of the album but, I feel that I have to think of what comes after that, in a sense that this is not the end. Therefore, as you said, in SUN DANCE I say “it’s starting over” and in April Showers, I say “open your wings”. I put in my feelings of having to move forward after this.