Montréal-based collective 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 Records, who released their full-length debut, 2021’s Shirushi last year, and in the lead-up to the album’s release, I wrote about five of its singles:
The acclaimed JOVM mainstays’ highly-anticipated sophomore album, the Daniel Schlettt-produced Hagata is slated for a June 9, 2023 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 the recording sessions in Mountain Dale, NY.
“Doppelgänger,” Hagata‘s latest single sees the acclaimed JOVM mainstays pairing a cinematic arrangement that prominently features strummed guitar, 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.
The accompanying video created by the band’s Pelletier and Kuroki was shot during a recent trip to Japan: The pair took their camera all over Kyoto, Kamakura and Chiba, places, where they have family ties. The video features footage from that trip, along with childhood footage of the band members. It’s a deep care and low that at times overcomes distance, time and change — while pointing out that change is inevitable.