MONTREAL’S adopted TEKE:TEKE, the Japanese psych-prog-garage septet who are busy doing all the great things Japanese bands do to trippy guitar music, have released another little cracker ahead of their early May debut for Kill Rock Stars.
It’s called “Yoru Ni” and it’s a delicious swirl of back-from-the-grave surf twang, trilling flutes, riffs, cooing vocals, and wonky brilliance, all beswathed with an atmosphere of order just about arising from the chaos, deliciously; a little moment of Sixties’ Bond theme here, The United States of America’s “Hard Coming Love” just slipping down the sonic stream over there.
We’re told (and we’re not speakers ourselves) that the lyrics tell a romantic and spiritual tale about letting go of a delusional quest; hence vocalist Maya Kuroki’s breathy whispers and some poetry en Français before bursting again with a desperate cry in the song’s intense choruses.
‘’‘Yoru Ni’ (which translates from the Japanese as ‘At night’) was literally written in the middle of the night,” guitarist Serge Nakauchi-Pelletier explains.
‘’I woke up suddenly and had this melody in my head, as if it had come to me from another world.
“It really felt like I was following some kind of spirit or ghost, it was taking my hand and wanted to take me somewhere.”
Need to be teased more for the wonders to come from that album in a few short weeks? Well, we covered the twin drops of “Chidori” and “Kala Kala” here all the way back in November, the first a cover of Japanese instrumental guitar hero Takeshi Terauchi and a cracking slice of psych-scifi-surf groove to boot; the latter, “riffin’ and hipswingin’ with cinematic panache”.
Oh, there’s more, there’s also the quirky, propulsive “Meikyu” from last month, of which we commented: “A swirling melange of surf guitar, impassioned vocals, trilling flutes, psych propulsion, heavy chaos, the kind of brilliance only Japanese psych bands can bring us.
“It’s as if Andy Votel’s and David Holmes’ 7″ boxes had entered a state of radioactive instability and started emitting isotopes.”
Their debut album, whose title means “sign of big changes to come”, was inspired by the Japanese practice of kintsugi, the art of mending broken pottery by fusing the pieces back together with seams of gold, silver, or platinum lacquer.
“There’s always something hopeful that comes after destruction,” Serge notes. “Next comes rebirth, and we get to learn again.”
The album glues classic Japanese balladry, surf rock, psychedelia, and more together into a set of songs that play like soundtracks to a wildly eccentric epic film saga. Can’t wait, me.
TEKE::TEKE’s Shirushi will be released by Kill Rock Stars digitally, on CD, and on trad black and red vinyl come May 7th; do what you know you need to do and get your pre-order in with the label, here.