Kero Kero Bonito are not a version of anything, other than themselves. Inspired by cherry-picked pieces of technology, the endless vista of the internet and a vast swathe of influences, they make music that is challenging and vital. The trio, who produce every part of their output and control their own career path, have amassed a supersized fanbase in the short time they’ve been together - for scale, 175 million streams with over half of their audience under the age of 22. The latest addition to their canon is a three track EP, Civilisation II. A sequel to 2019’s Civilisation I, Civilisation II tells self-manufactured myths, using vintage hardware only, and plays with the temporal.
They are a band who will stand the test of time. They 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. 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.
Much like Civilisation I, all three tracks of Civilisation II were produced and recorded in Gus’ bedroom, with Sarah writing lyrics as they came to her, in half Japanese, half English, reflecting the multi-dimensional way she thinks and understands language. It is inspired by early ambassadors of art-pop such as Kate Bush, David Byrne and Ryuichi Sakamoto, as well as their modern equivalent – 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.