Notes From Nihon III: Tricot

By Xin Rui Lee, Staff writer

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“Technical proficiency” just doesn’t cut it for these ladies. They’ve taken polished instrumentals, jazzed them up and put whipped cream and a cherry on top. In recent times, the stunning Kyoto-based trio know as Tricot (pronounced “tree-ko”) have been creating a buzz amongst the western hemisphere, garnering positive reactions from the reputable likes of UK’s “New Music Express” and America’s “Fader,” a testament to their wide reaching appeal. Rolling Stone very aptly described their sound as “adrenalized math rock sped up and given pop’s candy coating,” and it’s proving pretty hard not to like (or at least find very intriguing).

From their first EP “Bakuretsu”

POOL from their debut album “T H E”

As is characteristic of that somewhat-lesser-known genre math rock, Tricot’s music sounds calculated, though not in a contrived way, and is peppered with abrupt transitions from frenetic and complex guitar rhythms to hauntingly minimal riffs. They give you the sense that all the sound they’re putting out is deliberate, like they’re making an assertive statement that you need to take note of. After releasing a few EP’s to warm reception, they’re debut album “T H E” came out in 2013 and peaked at #18 in Japan’s Oricon Album Charts, which rank albums weekly, monthly and yearly based on physical album sales (not including downloads, so the numbers may be a bit skewed). Since then, Tricot have toured extensively in their native Japan as well as the UK and North America, shed one drummer from their line up because of “musical differences,” and released another full length album entitled “A N D” in 2015. Now they’re on tour in Europe ahead of the release of their latest EP “Kabuku” later this month on April 27th.

Recently released music video for “Pork Ginger”

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In an interview with NME last year, the three founding members discussed their hometowns near and around Kyoto, their musical influences, how music became their careers, and most interestingly their record label “Bakuretsu Records,” giving fans a tip-off to how these ladies operate on their own terms. “We got lots of offers [from labels], right after we started up,” lead vocalist Ikkyu Nakajima told Fader in a short interview last year. “We wanted to develop as a band first, so we kept denying offers. Eventually, they just stopped coming.”  So they went ahead and created their own label instead, assuring listeners that musical integrity is their foremost priority.

Official music video for E off their second album “A N D”

P.S. I am aware that all of the artists I’ve featured thus far have been all female, genuinely unintentional.


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