Montréal-based collective and JOVM mainstays TEKE: TEKE – Yuki Isami (flute, shinobue and keys), Hidetaka Yoneyama (guitar), Sergio Nakauchi Pelletier (guitar), Mishka Stein (bass), Etienne Lebel (trombone), Ian Lettree (drums, percussion) and Maya Kuroki (vocals, keys and percussion) — initially began as loving homage and tribute band of legendary Japanese guitarist Takeshi “Terry” Terauchi, featuring a collection of accomplished local musicians, who have played with Pawa Up First, Patrick Wilson, Boogat, Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra and others.
2018’s debut, Jikaku EP saw the Canadian outfit come into their own highly unique and difficult to pigeonhole sound that features elements of Japanese Eleki surf rock, shoegaze, post-punk, psych rock, ska, Latin music and Balkan music.
They then signed to Kill Rock Stars, who released their critically applauded full-length debut, 2021’s Shirushi.
The Canadian JOVM mainstays’ highly-anticipated sophomore album, the Daniel Schlettt-produced Hagata is slated for a Friday release through Kill Rock Stars. “Hagata,” as the band’s Maya Kuroki explains “is a very deep word, something present but also something leftover from someone or something no longer there. It’s like waking up from a dream, or being connected to the other side of something.” As a band, the Canadian psych pop outfit are intimately familiar with the duality of splitting reality between past and present, complex melodies and hushed interludes, intense action and lingering response. After building their genre-defying sound on Shirushi, the septet indulged in and learned from stretching out in free-floating experimentation both on the road and with Schlett during recording sessions in Mountain Dale, NY.
Last month, I wrote about “Doppelgänger,” a track that saw the JOVM mainstays pairing a cinematic arrangement that prominently features strummed guitar, and a brooding horn line with Kuroki’s achingly wistful delivery. Part bittersweet ballad, part brooding meditation, “Doppelgänger” speaks of the duality of identity: “Being of mixed Japanese and French-Canadian culture, I always feel like in some way I’m living two parallel lives…a big part of me is here in Canada, obviously, but another part of me is on the other side of the planet…this could be said about most of us in this band” the band’s Sergio Nakauchi Pelletier says.
Hagata‘s latest single “Hoppe” may arguably be among the most mosh pit friendly punk-inspired rippers in the band’s growing catalog with the song built around slashing guitars, dreamily fluttering flute and a brooding horn arrangement while Kuroki spins a Kafkaesque fable featuring men emerging from mysterious foods. But under the seemingly playfulness of the song is a sobering admission of nothing lasting forever.
Directed, shot and edited by the band, the accompanying video for “Hoppe” pairs the band’s signature visual blend of live action and animation while capturing the band’s frenetic live energy. “I always thought of ‘Hoppe’ as having a bit of a 90’s vibe, maybe the Fugazi in me (but with Maya’s delirious tale about an old man who’s cheeks fall off after eating a rice cake… ha, ha) so we tried to simply capture the raw and punk energy of the song and keep the camera moving, with a fish-eye type lens,” Teke: Teke’s Sergio Nakauchi Pelletier explains.
The band will be playing live dates to support the new album. Sadly, there aren’t any Stateside dates — as of yet. But if you’re planning to head to Canada or the UK in the next few months, make sure you see them. They’re endlessly entertaining.
TEKE::TEKE Live Dates:
June 24 Ottawa, ON @ Ottawa Jazz Festival
July 7 Montreal, QC @ Montreal International Jazz Festival
July 9 Sudbury, ON @ Northern Lights Festival Boréal
July 14 Quebec City, QC @ Festival Été Quebec
Aug 11 Regina, SK @ Regina Folk Festival
Aug 19 Salmon Arm, BC @ Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Fest
Sept 2 Manchester, UK @ Manchester Psych Fest
Sept 3 Dorset, UK @ End of the Road Fest