Review: Kero Kero Bonito offers conceptual alt-pop on new EP

‘Civilisation II’  is only a hint at what’s to come

Matilda Hill-Jenkins | Photo Courtesy
The trio has paved its unique path for over half a decade.

Upon hearing the first few seconds of Kero Kero Bonito’s first single from their new EP, it’s evident that they’ve come a long way in the past 18 months. Singer/Songwriters Sarah Bonito, Jamie Bulled, and Gus Lobban have all managed to develop themselves into more fine-tuned artists in the past two years than ever before since their rise to fame.

Since the release of ‘Civilisation I’, they’ve managed to go viral twice, as their tracks “Flamingo” and “I’d Rather Sleep” both broke their way into alternative TikTok trends. Furthermore, they caught the attention of many as they broke into the video game scene with a new hit theme song to a recent PS5-exclusive videogame.

They also found themselves collaborating with artists that were unprecedented before their rise to popularity, including the likes of Charli XCX, Rico Nasty, and 100 gecs on the “ringtone” remix. After having taken some time away from the spotlight to grow, both individually and as a group, the alt-pop trio has returned with “The Princess and the Clock.”

While the growth is evident throughout the hit lead single, it’s nothing compared to the remainder of the EP. From start to finish, the project’s lyricism, depth, and production all show vast improvement upon their past work. And yet, the most impressive aspect of this EP’s construction is that the project’s entirety remains completely self-produced.

While the project has been branded as an EP, fans have begun to clamor for a full studio album from the trio. With music being trickled to their fanbase by a handful of songs at a time, many are begging for an LP that will hold them over and push one of their many intriguing overarching concepts to a larger scale.

While perfection takes plenty of time, much of Kero Kero Bonito’s fanbase is ready for them to move their quantity at the rate that their quality has increased. That being said, ‘Civilisation II’ feels far from simply expansive. The EP also feels immensely experimental, even for the trio.

Rather than risk losing their alt-pop feel that they’ve become known for, they chose to add new elements of other genres to what already works for them. While their fanbase can’t complain that they’ve been blessed with a handful of new tracks, it’s safe to say that their next project is already highly anticipated to witness their next stage of musical evolution as a group.

Review: 4/5

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