Man I hope this wasn't their last album after all. I enjoyed their studio albums quite a lot, from the lo-fi psychrock corner to the creative funky pop fusion we can hear in the latest and the 2nd latest album. Keep it going guys!
Favorite track: Daydream Soda.
“The fifth studio album & last euphoric mind-trip to Kikagaku Moyo's imagined island.
Best-suited for counting stars, looking at the ocean, and dancing in one’s daydream.”
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.
released May 6, 2022
Liner notes by: Yosuke Kitazawa
Produced by Kikagaku Moyo
A4, B1 & B2 mixed by Hideki Urawa
All other songs mixed by Yui Kimijima
Mastered by Soushi Mizuno
Recorded at Guruguru Studio in Amsterdam & Tsubame Studio in Tokyo
2020 November - January
Artwork & Layout by Gijs Flieling
Photographed by Ruben Wiegerinck
A1 written by Go/Tomo/Guy/Ryu
A2, B1 written by Go/Tomo/Guy
A3, B2, B5 written by Go/Tomo
A4 written by Erasmo Carlos
B3, B6 written by Go
B4 written by Guy
B7 written by Ryu
supported by 335 fans who also own “Kumoyo Island”
This has become one of the most important albums of my life. It’s essence is indescribable. Every sound from the start of the record through the end is placed delicately and with care. The album cover is by Julie Mehretu. It’s absolutely an incredible release for which I shall be eternally grateful. Aniket