Author: Duke Denham
There are few bands in the world that have the capability to instantly lift one’s spirits with their music no matter how low he/she might be feeling. However, I can say that Kero Kero Bonito is undoubtedly one of those bands. Comprised of vocalist Sarah Bonito and producers Gus Lobban and Jamie Bulled, KKB will be bringing their incredibly cheerful, animated pop music to Neumos this Thursday.
Since the release of their debut mixtape Intro Bonito, KKB has built a reputation for creating some of the most effervescent, charming, and playful tunes in synth pop/J pop today. Most of the material on their first two projects combines the innocent, cute vocals of Bonito with bright, shimmering synths and bouncy drum machine loops. With this simple recipe, the group manages to create irresistibly catchy, fun tunes centered around silly song topics like doing your homework, throwing a party, or hearing a catchy song on the radio. Hearing a KKB song instantly puts one in a better mood with its childlike nature.
In contrast to their initial releases, their latest album Time ‘n’ Placefound Kero Kero Bonito shifting directions slightly. On this album, KKB fans were hearing a group that had gone through some troubling times. Gone were the lighthearted song subjects and extremely bubbly instrumentals of the first two projects. In its place, the band explored noisier, more rock-centered sounds and bleaker song topics like the death of a petand visiting a friend in the hospital. Regardless, the optimistic, vibrant qualities that the band were known for didn’t completely disappear. They were just filtered through the worldview that not everything in life is easy, simple, or delightful. But despite the struggles that life brings, one must learn to get back up and keep swimming. This change in perspective has led to KKB’s most mature, detailed, and sincere album yet.
I had the pleasure of hearing Kero Kero Bonito live last year when they played at The Neptune Theatre with Frankie Cosmos and Tanukichan. They did an excellent job translating all the jovial, charming aspects of their music into one of the most energetic, colorful live sets I’ve ever experienced. I’m excited to see it happen again. Kero Kero Bonito is playing this Thursday at Neumos with support from Finnish musician Jaakko Eino Kalevi. Unfortunately, the show is sold out, but if you were lucky enough to snag tickets, doors open at 7pm and the show starts at 8pm.
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