Montreal-based seven-piece Japanese psych-rock band TEKE::TEKE have announced a highly anticipated North American tour, which includes the band’s first ever shows in the United States. Eager to share their near-mythic live energy that was channeled into their blistering debut album Shirushi—released earlier this year via Kill Rock Stars—to a groundswell of praise from several outlets, the tour will kick off in January of 2022. Presale tickets for the tour are on sale tomorrow, and general sale will begin on Friday here.
To coincide with the announcement, they also shared a new video for “Kala Kala,” Shirushi’s lead single. “Kala Kala,” much like TEKE::TEKE, is an onomatopoeia. Here it’s the sound of ‘rattling’ or ‘clattering’. The lyrics, which vocalist Maya Kuroki wrote, explore the theme of identity, gender, and the ambiguity of it all through her wild signature poetry in Japanese. “Cluttering refers to the sound of masks changing fast, or a spinning wheel, or anything that moves in a kind of cycle. It’s just an image I had when thinking about identity and everybody’s quest for one, or quest for some kind of meaning as a living being,” guitarist Serge Nakauchi-Pelletier explains. “For yet another DIY video, we just wanted to go crazy with the visuals to match the energy of the music, using Maya’s colorful illustrations.”
As demonstrated on singles like the ferocious “Meikyu,” otherworldly “Yoru Ni,” and fierce “Barbara,” each track on Shirushi plays out like a lost classic soundtrack with its own genre and storyline, even for those who may not have the benefit of the literal translation of Kuroki’s lyrics. The band incorporates traditional instruments, influences from ‘60’s/70s Japanese soundtracks, and the sentimental balladry of Japanese enka — yet Shirushi manages to sound as if it comes from some distant future.
After initially forming as a tribute band for Japanese guitar legend Takeshi Terauchi, TEKE::TEKE learned that they had to tear up their surf-tinged covers and build something new. Since then, the band has expanded their already wide scope into a dazzling journey through classic Japanese balladry and Brazilian psychedelia alike. Fusing everything from traditional Japanese instrumentation to punk guitar, TEKE::TEKE have created their own musical universe — one that’s continuously expanding and demands to be seen in person.
Photo Courtesy: Andy Jon