Earlier this month, Kero Kero Bonito released “When the Fires Come,” the first track off a then-unspecified new project. Today (Sept. 30), the trio have shared a three-song EP featuring two completely new tracks ahead of their fast-approaching North American tour.
Climate apocalypse anthem “When the Fires Come” found the group resigned to the destruction of humanity. On “Battle Lines,” the EP’s sparkly, chaotic opener, they’re confidently speaking out against a dystopian, exploitative government. “We together / are terrifying asking a question,” asserts vocalist Sarah Midori-Perry. The track is rife with synths, vocal processing and videogame sound effects that are reminding YouTube commenters of everything from Mario Kart, Crash Bandicoot 3 and Donkey Kong to ‘90s JRPGs. “The River” melds Kero Kero Bonito’s signature electronic elements—including a couple of searing synth solos—with inspiration from ancient spiritual chants. It’s a softly urgent plea to Mother Earth, whom Midori-Perry asks to “Receive our hearts in your arms / And let our souls pass” as the planet collapses.
In a statement, Gus Lobban explained the Civilisation I concept in terms of bridging the primitive and the futuristic:
If Time ‘n’ Place was about mixing up adolescent nostalgia, contemporary millennial malaise and the daunting near future, Civilisation I blows up that timeline to cover the ancient past of primitive man (myths, cave art and tribalism), the large-scale situation facing humanity in 2019 and the distant future, when humans have been wiped from the face of Earth.
Listen to “Battle Lines” and “The River” below, and catch up with KKB’s tour dates here. Check out the Civilisation I cover art, which takes inspiration from hieroglyphs and cave painting, further down below, along with the EP’s tracklist.
Civilisation I EP Art:
Civilisation I EP Tracklist:
1. Battle Lines
2. When The Fires Come
3. The River