Acclaimed Montreal-based Japanese psych-rock band TEKE::TEKE announced their upcoming album Hagata. The eagerly anticipated sophomore effort following 2021’s Shirushi will be released on June 9 via Kill Rock Stars. Accompanying the news is the album’s hard-charging lead single and opening track, “Garakuta” (which roughly translates to ‘goods of no more use nor value’), alongside a music video animated and directed by TEKE::TEKE’s own Maya Kuroki (vocals) and Sei Nakauchi Pelletier (guitar). “Garakuta” matches muscly intensity with moments of cloudy meditation—like a world-class high jumper finding bliss at the apex of their leap.
Framed by regal flute and guitar, a thumping rhythm section, and gravelly backing vocals, Kuroki delivers a reverb-drenched rallying cry, which she calls “a song of rebellion for all that has been thrown out of this world.” And as the band’s psychedelic roil comes to a climax, her Japanese dips into a mellifluous breath to paint a landscape of plastic flowers, polystyrene snow, and mountains of cellphones. “Indeed, it’s a sort of anthemic song for the rebellion of wastes…” expands Kuroki. “I imagined a world where everything we throw out came back to protest… And I’m not necessarily only thinking from an environmental perspective, it is rather an analogy for anything or anybody that is cast out of society because they are considered useless by the norm.”
As for the album, “‘Hagata’ is a very deep word, something present but also something leftover from someone or something no longer there,” Kuroki explains. “It’s like waking up from a dream, or being connected to the other side of something.” TEKE::TEKE are intimately familiar with that duality, of splitting reality between past and present, complex melodies and hushed interludes, intense action and lingering response. After building their sound on Shirushi through careful assembly of countless splinters of Japanese folk, psychedelia, Brazilian surf rock, and other far-flung touchstones, the seven-piece indulged in and learned from stretching out in free-floating experimentation both on the road and with Hagata’s producer Daniel Schlett (The War On Drugs, DIIV, CHAI, Nick Hakim), recorded in a scenic studio in Mountain Dale, New York.
Photo Courtesy: Sam Woywitka