Daily Discovery is a feature that will highlight a new or recently discovered artist that we’re excited about. See the rest of our Daily Discoveries here.
What is going in London right now? The city is always a hotbed of innovation in music, but recently there has been an exciting new wave of bands and producers deeply influenced by pop music, but using those influences in wonderfully creative ways. There is the hyper-bright, pop taken to its logical conclusion surrealism of PC Music artists like A.G. Cook and Hannah Diamond, and today you should also get to know the international sounds of Kero Kero Bonito.
The three piece band met on a Japanese expatriate community bulletin board, and the sound across their debut mixtape Intro Bonito is like little else out there. The influence of Japanese pop is evident in the band’s bold visual aesthetic and the bilingual English/Japanese vocals from Sarah, while the production blends elements of UK dance music, 8-bit, rock, and more.
Don’t let all the bright colors, catchy chants, and repetition of lyrics fool you though, Kero Kero Bonito’s accessible, seemingly simple sound is used to explore topics that are deeper and also pretty universal. The lyrics from “Sick Beat,” for example, look at the expectations placed on girls, especially those who like video games:
It’s often said, I should get some girly hobbies instead but that thought fills me with dread / I’m not into sewing, baking, dressmaking, not eating, bitching, submitting
Kero Kero Bonito might enchant you with their cute imagery and sharp songwriting, but they’ll leave a lasting impression with their weird takes on production and subtly thought provoking lyricism. Listen to their debut mixtape Intro Bonito below, and buy it on iTunes here.
If you live in London, you can catch them live on September 20, details here.
Read a fun interview with the band below, kept in the format that they sent it to us.
Can you introduce who is in the band? How did you meet and how long have you been making music together?
Sarah – bilingual ultrapop star
Gus + Jamie – school friend MIDI production team
We met on MixB (Japanese expatriate community bulletin board). We’ve been making music since May last year.
Where does the name Kero Kero Bonito come from and what does it mean?
Kero = Japanese frog onomatopoeia
Bonito = culinarily useful fish
It has a nice ring to it.
How important is the visual side of the band?
Why do you think there has been a recent upsurge in hyper-bright, hyper-poppy music coming out of London? Were we all just not paying attention before, or is there a new movement coming through?
1988 – 1994: birth of young adults
1995 – 2002: childhood of young adults, “COOL JAPAN”
2003 – yesterday: adolescence of young adults, boring indie
today – future: young adults react accordingly
In what way (if it all) are you associated with A.G. Cook and the PC Music family? How is your sound and aesthetic different to PC Music?
Who is A. G. Cook, right?
They sing about twins, we sing about babies.
What’s next for Kero Kero Bonito?
Chart-topping single + album.