Kikagaku Moyo has shared “Cardboard Pile” from their latest album Kumoyo Island. The track could be described as blistering and the video could be described as awesome. My writing could be described as mundane. Watch the video below.
Earlier this year, along with extensive live dates across Europe and North America, Kikagaku Moyo announced the news that the tours will be their last before the band goes on indefinite hiatus (see statement here).
Today, Kikagaku Moyo announce that they will also release one final album. Entitled ‘Kumoyo Island’, Kikagaku Moyo’s last offering will be released on May 6th through the record label they run, Guruguru Brain.
The first single “Cardboard Pile” and accompanying video by Katsushika Shusshin is online now.
In many ways ‘Kumoyo Island’ represents the culmination of a journey for Kikagaku Moyo. While their decade-long career can be summarized as a series of kaleidoscopic explorations through lands and dimensions far and near, there’s a strong intention in each of their works to take the listener to a particular place, however real or abstract they may be. In that sense, the title and cover art for the band’s fifth and final album draws you into a magical mass of land surrounded by water—but the couch suggests that ‘Kumoyo Island’may not be a fleeting stop, but rather a place of respite, where one could pause and take it all in.
Reconvening at Tsubame Studios in Asakusabashi, Tokyo, where their earliest material had been recorded, the five members of Kikagaku Moyo found new inspiration in a familiar and comfortable environment. With their adopted homebase of Amsterdam under lockdown and their touring activities halted due to the pandemic, the band felt a renewed sense of freedom being back in shitamachi, or the old downtown area of their hometown. With unrestricted time in the studio, they began to build upon the demos and song fragments they’d amassed since their last tour. In the 1.5 months spent in Tokyo, everything started to come together.
“Monaka”, its name taken from a type of Japanese wafer sweets, takes melodic inspiration from traditional minyofolk styles, while “Yayoi Iyayoi” is a rare instance of the band singing in their native tongue, its evocative lyrics utilizing archaic words taken from old poetry and nature books found in one of the many second-hand bookstores of Tokyo. For “Meu Mar”, an Erasmos Carlos cover, the original Portuguese lyrics were translated into English, then to Japanese. Strangely enough, the words seem to conjure an image of the protagonist floating among the clouds, looking down upon Tokyo Bay.
In fact, it may be possible to draw a parallel between the topography of the band’s home country—an island nation, surrounded by bodies of water—and the mysterious isle of Kumoyo. Are they one and the same? Has the band finally made it back home? It’s up to the listener to decide.
‘Kumoyo Island’ track list:
A2. Dancing Blue
A4. Meu Mar
B1. Cardboard Pile – official video
B3. Daydream Soda
B4. Field of Tiger Lillies
B5. Yayoi Iyayoi
B6. Nap Song
B7. Maison Silk Road
Kikagaku Moyo live dates (tickets links at https://kikagakumoyo.com/tour2022/):
May 11 Toronto, ON – Lee’s Palace *SOLD OUT*
May 12 Montreal, QC – La Tulipe
May 13 Winooski, VT – Waking Windows
May 14 Boston, MA – Royale
May 16 Brooklyn, NY – Elsewhere *SOLD OUT*
May 17 Brooklyn, NY – Elsewhere *SOLD OUT*
May 18 Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer
May 19 Asheville, NC – Orange Peel
May 20 Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse
May 21 Nashville, TN – The Basement East *SOLD OUT*
May 23 Madison, WI – Majestic Theatre *SOLD OUT*
May 24 Chicago, IL – Thalia Hall *SOLD OUT*
May 25 Detroit. MI – El Club *SOLD OUT*
May 27 Napa, CA – Bottle Rock Festival
May 28 San Francisco, CA – August Hall *SOLD OUT*
June 4 Angers, FR – Levitation France
June 6 Paris, FR – Trabendo
June 9 Oslo, NO – Loaded Festival
June 11 Beekse Bergen, NL – Best Kept Secret
June 12 Tourcoing, FR – Le Grand Mix
June 13 Brussels, BE – Botanique Orangerie
June 14 Cologne, DE – Gebaude 9
June 15 Copenhagen, DK – Punpehuset
June 16 Berlin, DE – Festsaal Kreuzberg
June 17 Prague, CZ – Futurum
June 18 Vienna, AT – Flex
June 20 Lausanne, CH – Les Docks
June 21 Zurich, CH – Mascotte
June 22 Amsterdam, NL – Paradiso
June 26 London, UK – Clapham Grand *SOLD OUT*
June 27 London, UK – EartH
July 29 – Naeba, JP – Fuji Rock Festival
Sep 14 Boulder, CO – Fox Theatre *SOLD OUT*
Sep 15 Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre
Sep 16 Dallas, TX – Texas Theatre
Sep 17 Austin, TX – Far Out Lounge
Sep 20 Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom
Sep 21 Solana Beach, CA – Belly Up *SOLD OUT*
Sep 22 Los Angeles, CA – Belasco Theatre
Sep 23 Santa Ana, CA – Observatory
Sep 28 Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom
Sep 29 Seattle, WA – Moore Theatre
Sep 30 Vancouver, BC – Rickshaw Theatre
Oct 6 Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Steel