A new challenger approaches… Meet the newest Ichigo Rinahamu unit HO6LA through their debut EP Pirikarira!
For those out of the loop, Ichigo Rinahamu (previously known as Yokoyama Rina) has a pretty extensive idol and producing history under her belt. Previously part of BiS’ first generation and the iconic electronic group CY8ER
(of which she was a member and producer), she also produced groups like DOPING BERRY and STRAWBERRY SYNDROME. She’s got her own solo DJ project, Hamrig, and sometimes releases solo music under the name rinahamu. Earlier this year, she put her producing goggles on once more when she announced she’d be forming another group, this time featuring fellow ex-WACK company idol Oosshouji Megumi, now known as Pan Luna Leafy, who was part of BiS’ second generation. After opening auditions and an extensive 24 hour training camp (a la WACK’s own audition process), five more members were selected: Wannyan Circuit DX! (formerly known as Miyagumi Shiou), Hachimitsu Umi (another ex-WACK idol, previously a member of PIGGs), Wazurai (formerly Himekuri Koyomi), Emiru (formerly Kanemoto/Kamimura Emiru) and Kusunoki Roa as leader; together, they are HO6LA
, pronounced homura
. They made their live debut September 21th and released their debut EP, Pirikarira
, on October 26th. Let’s dig in!
The EP contains six tracks total, with three being full songs and the final three being instrumentals. “Pirikarira”, the title track, opens with a bouncy and happy electronic beat. Each member rotates through the verses up into the pre-chorus, diving into an explosively bubbly instrumental chorus section. Each girl has her own unique vocal color as well, which will help in time to tell who’s doing what. After a low-tempo second verse there’s a hard hitting drop section around the 1:55 mark that melts right into the bright and cheery sound from before. The chorus is fun and the beat ends up being quite the earworm after a while. Overall, it’s a solid introduction for what’s to come and an effective great EP opener.
“Tokyo My Way” opens with the strumming of zither, punchy drum beats and bass, signaling a vibe change from the last track. Though the chorus feels a little more subdued, the overall feeling of the song is a bit more aggressive from the last one in the vocal delivery and tempo — the heavy bass throughout really drives this feeling home. It feels like the kind of song that’s absolutely meant to be played in clubs and at live shows, just waiting for the audience to feel the beat in their bones. Over the course of my listening, I found myself nodding my head to this one a lot, so it’s definitely going down as a favorite.
“Time Capsule Girl” is the final track. It opens with the sounds of someone winding up and playing a music box into a sweet dream pop-like melody. The EDM vibes soon take over for the chorus (which all follow a similar pattern throughout the three songs), reminding me a bit of Shawn Wasabi’s works. This track feels like a mixture of the first two: the cute, dreamy elements of Pirikarira and the traditional instrumentation of Tokyo My Way coming together to wrap up the EP in a nice little bow. The vocal delivery is consistent with great bits of harmonization here and there. The same music box that opened the track also makes its way back to close everything out.
Pirikarira is a fun journey into HO6LA‘s world as a display of sparkling EDM pop. As the year comes to a close and the weather gets colder this is a quick listen to get you right and warmed up, looking forward to the feeling of spring and summer.