Alt-pop trailblazers Kero Kero Bonito release new EP Civilisation II

April 22, 2021

Alt-pop trailblazers Kero Kero Bonito release their latest EP Civilisation II today, out now via AWAL. A sequel to 2019’s EP Civilisation I, in which the band envisioned a historically ambiguous alternate-reality, Civilisation II sees KKB continue to explore instinctive human tendencies across three tracks, all completely devised using vintage hardware. Listen HERE.

The release comes alongside a new video for EP highlight ‘21/04/20‘, which was conceptualised by artist Dan W. Jacobs, who created the visuals for previous single ‘The Princess and The Clock’. Taking cues from the likes of ancient tapestries and bas reliefs, the video’s style is a nod to the song’s inspirations. KKB elaborate, “21/04/20’’ recounts a typical day in the early Covid lockdown in Bromley (South London), complete with a late leftover pasta breakfast, enthusiastic joggers and friendship conducted over video call. Its direct, documentary style was inspired by narrative art like the Bayeux Tapestry and Trajan’s Column.  Its electronic singer-songwriter feel (like a synthesised version of The Carpenters or Carole King) poignantly matches the lyrics’ combination of everyday minutiae and deeper existential concerns.”

KKB‘s Civilisation era was inspired in equal parts by early ambassadors of art-pop such as Kate Bush, David Byrne and Ryuichi Sakamoto, as well as their modern equivalents Grimes, Caroline Polachek and Bjork, as well as trumpeter Jon Hassell, who developed the concept of ‘fourth world’ music, which unified both primitive and modern sounds. Across the EP, Sarah Bonito wrote lyrics as they came to her, in half Japanese, half English, reflecting the multi-dimensional way she thinks and understands language. KKBcomment, “Like its predecessor, Civilisation II explores lost world art pop, made entirely with old synthesisers and assorted junk in our quest to realise a fantastical parallel timeline for pop music, with lyrics encompassing religion, our society and the environment.”

Of the EP’s narrative arc, the band explain, “Each of Civilisation II’s three tracks are set in the past, present and future respectively. ‘The Princess and the Clock’ (past) is a legend of our own invention, designed to feel like a familiar folk tale. It tells the story of a young explorer who was kidnapped and revered as a princess by an isolated society; her worshippers later found her gone, but it’s up to the listener to guess her fate. ‘21/04/20’ embodies our present, and ‘Well Rested’ (future) is our longest track yet at over seven minutes. ‘Well Rested’ addresses The Resurrection and humanity’s distant future. It’s a humanist manifesto for the Anthropocene in several parts incorporating chants, a constant four-to-the-floor and field recordings of natural sites. The Civilisation era, with its conflation of time on the grandest scale, is a bridge between our more personal 2018 album Time ‘n’ Place and KKB’s next move. Whatever that may be, don’t forget: You Cannot Stop Civilisation.”

Civilisation II is out now, buy/stream it here.

TRACKLIST
The Princess and The Clock
21/04/20
Well Rested

PRAISE FOR KERO KERO BONITO

“If Aphex Twin, Yellow Magic Orchestra, and The Human League dropped a collaborative single,
it might turn out like the refreshing synthpop pinball of Kero Kero Bonito’s latest”

The FADER

“Kero Kero Bonito’s latest single feels like falling through a series of successive trap doors”
PAPER

“Kero Kero Bonito bounce between bouts of chaos and the absolute cheeriness of pure pop,
a sensation that suggests they are tinkering with those wild old memories,
trying to reconcile them with reality.”

Pitchfork

“Kero Kero Bonito have found the sweet spot between sounding out of time
and ahead of it, all at once”

The Guardian

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