Montreal-based Japanese psych-rock band TEKE::TEKE announced their upcoming West Coast tour after kicking things off with their first ever New York date on November 11th at Brooklyn hot spot Public Records. They then head out to the West Coast in December, hitting LA, Portland, Seattle and finishing back across the border in Vancouver. After the release of their acclaimed, blistering debut album Shirushi – released last year via Kill Rock Stars – and having received praise from several media outlets, the band is eager to continue sharing their near-mythic live energy.
The run of shows will include two special Kill Rock Stars-curated nights in Portland and Seattle with the famed label having hand-picked the opening acts in cities ripe with the label’s history. The tour’s Vancouver date will also feature Mi’ens, a Kill Rock Stars pick, and Fhang, a project that features TEKE::TEKE bassist Mishka Stein and the band’s longtime collaborator and friend, Sam Woywitka.
Along with the announcement, they also shared a new video for the song “Dobugawa” from Shirushi, illustrated and animated by vocalist Maya Kuroki and edited by guitarist Serge Nakauchi Pelletier. ‘Dobugawa’ translates into ‘dirty river,’ which sets the scene for the off-kilter, romantic tale about the ambiguity of identity. Bandmember Maya says, “Set in a poor industrialized town in 1930’s Showa-era Japan, an ambiguous couple take a stroll along a dirty river (Dobugawa) said to be filled with all the city’s hidden words. This is a very cinematic song, with elements of fantasy and surrealism. I wanted to keep the animation simple so as to give off a dark, sparse feeling of what lies beneath in contrast to what otherwise seems like a peaceful, spring afternoon.” The video also features English-translated subtitles, allowing audiences to further engage with the song’s meaning.
As demonstrated on singles like the fierce “Meikyu,” otherworldly “Yoru Ni,” and mischievous “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, cinematic future.
Nov 11 New York, NY @ Public Records
Dec 8 Los Angeles, CA @ Moroccan Lounge
Dec 13 Portland, OR @ Polaris Hall*
Dec 15 Seattle, WA @ Barboza*
Dec 16 Vancouver, Canada @ Wise Hall w/ Fhang & Mi’ens
* = Kill Rock Stars night
Photo Courtesy: Sam Woywitka