New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
Kero Kero Bonito's critically-acclaimed sophomore album Time 'n' Place was surprise-released last year on Polyvinyl Record Co., and today the band is back with new music. To celebrate their forthcoming North American tour, which includes a performance at Coachella, KKB announce a new 7-inch. Featuring TIme 'n' Place highlight "Swimming
" as the A-Side, the 7-inch features a brand new B-Side entitled "The Open Road," which the band says "is a song about our North America
tour last year, including anecdotes about the time a lorry nearly jackknifed into us in a blizzard '(We came to a halt in the snow / Swerving on the wet slush below / Just as well we did 'cos / That lorry in front of us / Was gonna tip over)' and getting robbed in San Francisco '(Way out on the north golden coast / Just as we were ready to go / Bandits
broke into the van / And took all we had).'"
The sophomore full-length from Kero Kero Bonito, Time 'n' Place is an album ineffably shaped by the subconscious. Lead singer and chief lyricist Sarah
Bonito (who was raised in the suburbs on the Japanese island Hokkaido) found herself rattled in recent years by recurring images in her dreams: a water park from when she was little, a hallway in her primary school. After those dreams started, she also received an unexpected photo from her brother: a picture of a plot of bare land that once held her childhood home, the house now demolished. ("I felt like I'd lost something, even though I didn't know I needed it," she says.) And in another heartbreak for Sarah, 2017 saw the death of her beloved childhood pet, a boy budgie named Nana whom she received soon after moving to the UK at age 13.
At the same time, Sarah's fellow KKB members experienced some life-changing upheaval, including the loss of several close family members. So when the London trio began writing again, they felt compelled to diverge from the carefree sensibilities of their early work (a form of kitsch electro-pop that jumbled up lo-fi dance music with bilingual lyrics, British TV references, and stories about animals). Resuming a very teenage and visceral approach to making music, KKB effectively morphed into a band, with Sarah
on vocals, Jamie Bulled on bass, Gus Lobban on drums, and their friend James
Rowland on guitar. Their debut for Polyvinyl, Time 'n' Place is a document of that band finding its voice, a coming-of-age story told in warped guitar solos, shining melodies, unnervingly tender lyrics about yogurt and seafoam and feral parakeets.
Though much of Time 'n' Place was self-produced in Gus's bedroom in the London suburb of Bromley, it was also partly recorded by Jimmy Robertson (Arctic Monkeys, Fuck Buttons) and Stereolab drummer Andy Ramsay (King Krule, Wire) at Ramsay's Press Play Studio in South London. Along with Rowland, the album features contributions from noise/electronic musician Jennifer Walton, a string arrangement by composer Calum Bowen (aka bo en), and a three-part choir made up of Cecile Believe, Oscar Scheller, and Crying's z (aka Elaiza
Santos). Built on the same volatile energy that's made KKB's live shows famously mosh-heavy, Time 'n' Place collages those elements together in a sound that's both chaotic as punk and symphonic as '60s pop.
For KKB the urgency of Time 'n' Place was imperative-they needed to process their pain and confusion in frantic, kinetic movements, and bashing away on drums and guitars felt more fitting than assembling songs on a laptop. It's also much more true to their upbringing as musicians, back when Gus and Jamie were growing up in the South London suburbs and played in garage bands together all during their school days. With the added vision and otherworldly voice of Sarah-who spent her adolescence in the UK town of Kenilworth, and met Gus and Jamie on a web forum five years ago-the classically dissident music of their indie-rock forebears takes on weirder and more wonderful textures and colors, giving way to something dreamy and transcendent but not without its nightmare moments.
International tour dates:
03/01 - Paris, France @ Point Ephémère
03/02 - Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Paradiso Noord
03/08 - Leeds, UK @ Belgrave Music
03/22 - New Orleans, LA @ BUKU Music
+ Art Project
04/02 - Bloomington, IN @ The Bluebird
04/03 - St. Louis, MO @ The Ready Room
04/04 - Lawrence, KS @ Granada Theater
04/05 - Omaha, NE @ The Waiting Room
04/06 - Denver, CO @ The Oriental Theater
04/08 - Albuquerque, NM @ Sister
04/09 - El Paso, TX @ The Lowbrow Palace
04/10 - Mesa, AZ @ The Nile
04/12 - Indio, CA @ Coachella Valley Music
and Arts Festival
04/13 - Las Vegas, NV @ The Bunkhouse Saloon
04/15 - San Diego, CA @ The Casbah
04/18 - San Diego, CA @ The Casbah
04/19 - Indio, CA @ Coachella Valley Music
and Arts Festival
04/20 - San Jose, CA @ The Ritz
04/21 - San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music
04/23 - Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
04/24 - Vancouver, BC @ The Biltmore
04/25 - Seattle, WA @ Neumos
04/25 - 04/27 - Reykjavík, Iceland @ Sónar Reykjavík
05/18 - Wrexham, UK @ The Live Rooms @ FOCUS Wales
05/23 - London, UK @ Electric Ballroom
06/09 - Manchester, UK @ Parklife Festival
07/04 - 07/06 - Dumfries, UK @ Electric Fields Festival
07/11 - 07/13 - Bilbao, Spain @ Bilbao BBK Live 2019
08/29 - 09/01 - Dorset, UK @ End of The Road Festival.