Montreal-based Japanese band TEKE::TEKE released a boisterous studio recording of “Barbara” Wednesday, along with an animated music video. The track comes off their forthcoming album Shirushi, named after the art of mending broken pottery by setting the pieces back together with gold, silver or platinum lacquer. Shirushi is set for release on May 7 via Kill Rock Stars.
Fans may have caught a live performance of “Barbara” during this year’s virtual South by Southwest. In order to capture the energy that their live performances of psych-punk radiate, the seven-piece band’s studio release was recorded in one take. With a wild flute melody, their latest creation is pure, thrashing fun. The song’s music video, animated by guitarist Serge Nakauchi-Pelletier and vocalist Maya Kuroki, acts as a sort of subtitled storyboard around the song’s titular character. A beginning slate kindly gives us background on Barbara, a creature called a Zashiki-warashi or “parlor child.”
TEKE::TEKE’s rhythm guitarist Hidetaka Yoneyama spoke about the song’s origin in a statement:
The initial inspiration for this song is a true story that happened to me. I was randomly mistaken for an old lady by this stranger on the street who came up to me screaming Barbara? Barbara?! It’s you?! Barbara?! Maya then had the idea of taking the story to another level by turning it into this psychedelic tale of “Yokai” (“ghost” or “spirit”) that escapes a house and goes on doing all sorts of pranks on people, that spirit being Barbara.
Watch the video for “Barbara” below. You can preorder Shirushi here.