Single: The Magic of Believing
Release Date: 10 January 2022
Location: Saint Petersburg
Digital Price: 4 USD
Written by Yari Wildheart
Hakumai appears in this list as a Cave Dweller Music first – being the very first time a classically trained pianist has been the subject of review on our website. She is a classically trained pianist from Saint Petersburg who already has a variety of releases under her belt – some compilations, albums and EP-length releases on her Bandcamp. She is also notably one of the prominent Russian Twitch streamers, having a large following of 131,000 followers there along with a Patreon which you can find here. Her Twitch streams typically consist of live piano improvisations and demonstrate her skill in that regard.
Her releases are generally instrumental, being piano and guitar-oriented in nature, and there is a wealth of beautifully played songs in her library. Consider her Reminiscence compilation (found here), containing idyllic songs like Moonbunny Waltz that sound like they belong in a Hayao Miyazaki movie, and nostalgic, quiet moments like Ancient Letter and also post-rock tracks like Dark Reflection.
Her latest release is another venture into that quiet, ambient guitar & piano post-rock sound that she has done well with before. Named The Magic of Believing, we begin with the sounds of almost-mournful guitar notes, the sounds of someone lost in thought during a moment of despair. Layered guitars and drums build on that mood, although it is broken up by the quiet ascent of a piano interlude halfway through, the kind of beautiful moment during a dark time that can bring hope, and possibly lead to brighter days down the road. The Magic of Believing indeed.
Those pianos may be silenced momentarily, but as the guitar returns, we hear ever-so-faint piano notes that build into the final moments of the track, a blending of piano and guitar that really shines. The Magic of Believing is a great example of just how deep Russian independent music gets, reaching even to the realm of classical and post-rock with lovely tracks like this. While I would say at $4 this is on the higher end for an independent single release, it remains worth every cent to support an artist producing music this good.
I hope you enjoy The Magic of Believing.