Kero Kero Bonito – “Make Believe”
The fun-loving London-based trio Kero Kero Bonito are back again–and this time with some good news! After signing with American record label Polyvinyl (the label of choice for artists like Jay Som, Alvvays, and Jeff Rosenstock amongst others), they’ve announced the release of their sophomore album Time ‘n’ Place, the follow-up to their 2016 debut LP Bonito Generation and their two EPs Intro Bonito and TOTEP. Although no specific release date has been confirmed, rest assured that it’s “coming soon”. In the meantime, KKB fans should rejoice: “Make Believe”, the lead single off of the new album, is just as quirky and fun as anything they’ve released so far.
KKB, a band who makes their own unique blend of J-POP, video game soundtracks, and indie pop inspired music, always had a flair for making the most mundane things sound like the most interesting topics ever while seamlessly incorporating both English and Japanese lyrics in the same breath and making it work. Take a look at songs like “Break” (a song about taking a break in the middle of the day) “Trampoline” (a song about trampolines), or “Flamingo” (a song about flamingoes and shrimp) and you’ll see what I mean. There’s a natural charm that comes through whenever frontwoman Sarah Midori Perry sings or raps, even when she’s nonchalantly singing about random objects or listing off what she’s doing in her day. Producers Gus Lobban and Jamie Bulled are just as integral, creating the slick, clean beats on Intro Bonito and Bonito Generation that made KKB stand out as a winning combination.
With “Make Believe”, KKB looks to be leaning more towards the indie pop sensibilities that they demonstrated on TOTEP. Though “Make Believe” is noticebly devoid of a psychotic mid-song freakout (like there was on “Only Acting“) and their trademark Japanese/English bilingual style, it’s still a magical, guitar-oriented single about… sleeping and dreaming. You’ll find some more distortion and guitars here, veering away from the crystal clear production of Bonito Generation, but KKB is still just as whimsical as ever. The accompanying video for “Make Believe” also seems to be conscious of their evolving style–Perry wakes up from a distorted 90s VHS nightmare surrounded by rats and parrots, and then starts dancing in a giant empty warehouse during the chorus by herself.
Given the fact that they’ve paired the single with a B-side song that they released announcing their 2018 World Tour (unsurprisingly titled “2018 World Tour“), we wouldn’t expect anything less.