News, Reviews

Kero Kero Bonito Share ‘The Princess And The Clock’ & Announce New EP ‘Civilisation II’

February 28, 2021
Photo Credit Matilda Hill-Jenkins





Kero Kero Bonito share their new single The Princess and the Clocktoday alongside the announcement of their forthcoming EP Civilisation II, out April 21st 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. 

This synth-pop fusion is set to dazzle. Soothing vocal harmonies soaring above the complex chaos crafted from the crucial electronic experimental layers which form the fierce soundscape. This track will lift you, deeply melodic and charismatic, at every turn the appeal of this intense exploration dominates.

The boundary-pushing, shape-shifting trio have amassed a supersized fanbase which spans generations. Over half of their audience are under the age of 22 and the band have a combined 175 million streams, all whilst remaining self-produced and independent. KKB have seamlessly morphed through alt-pop genres, from creepypasta ‘90s indie to fourth world alt-pop, aligning themselves with enlightened musical influencers such as 100 gecs, Charli XCX, Rina Sawayama and exaggerated electronic pop music cabal PC Music

With its first radio spin today from Matt Wilkinson on Apple Music 1, ‘The Princess and the Clock’ is a lively and complex anthem which matches colourful synths with old-time mythology, creating an engaging balance of experimental and pop tendencies. The lyrics see KKB recount a fictional tale of their own devising, telling the story of a princess sailing the world who is kidnapped by a primitive society and held in a glass tower. One day the captors find her gone and the glass smashed; it’s up to the listener to decide how she left. The fable is perfectly illustrated via an animation by Dan W. Jacobs.

KKB explain; “The Princess and the Clock” is the tale of a young explorer who is kidnapped while sailing the world, imprisoned at the top of a tower and worshipped as royalty by an isolated society. Trapped in her chamber, she spends years dreaming of escaping, until one day she disappears. A legend of our own invention, “The Princess and the Clock” was written before Covid emerged, though the long, lonely hours and escapist dreams its protagonist experiences will be relatable to many right now. It’s a song for anyone who has ever felt trapped, lost and alone.”

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. Much like Civilisation I, all three tracks of Civilisation II are produced using only old hardware which both trivialises and exaggerates the ideas that lie within the EP, a thematic fusion of the ancient past, grand present and distant future all at once. 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.

The past 18 months have seen the band breaking new ground. Driven by their understanding of the machinations of digital culture, they have encouraged the extrapolation of their music by their fans; in 2019, KKB’s tracks ‘Flamingo’ and ‘I’d Rather Sleep‘ went viral on Alt-TikTok, exposing their music to legions of new young fans, with both currently garnering over a million streams per month. They found themselves going viral again in 2020 after they composed ‘It’s Bugsnax!’, the theme to the hit PS5 video game, which led to them being described as “the internet’s new favourite meme ingredient” by GamesRadar. The band also appeared on 100 gecs’ ‘ringtone’ remix alongside Charli XCX and Rico Nasty. These affiliations and collaborations placed the band squarely in front of an emboldened audience who were willing to dive head first into Kero Kero Bonito’s borderless and undefined pop music.

Stream ‘The Princess and the Clock’ on all platforms here:

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