Genre-blending London pop group Kero Kero Bonito's sweet, sad, and strange 'Small Town'

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Kero Kero Bonito
  • Courtesy of Kero Kero Bonito's Facebook page
  • Kero Kero Bonito
London electronic-pop outfit Kero Kero Bonito combines J-pop, funk carioca, chiptune, and hip-hop into a constantly shifting, bubbly sound. The three-piece stands as a great example of what bricolage is like in the Tumblr age, allowing people to connect disparate cultures just by clicking a few different hashtags. The Internet also provided Kero Kero Bonito with the tools it needed to form in the first place: according to Dummy magazine two of the band members, Jamie and Gus, found singer-rapper Sarah Bonito after posting a wanted ad for a rapper on a Japanese-expat message board ("We were really interested in Japanese rap," Gus told Dummy).

Sarah raps—though it's more like she sing-raps—and on Kero Kero Bonito's most popular song, "Sick Beat," she switches from Japanese to English with ease and daydreams about outmoded technology ("Windows 98 / Remember those days?") over a chopped-up sample of Super Mario 64. The tune is strangely alluring, but it can be a bit much at times, so for today's 12 O'Clock Track I decided to go with an easier gateway: "Small Town." Sarah sings about being an outsider in a tiny community on the serene, dancehall-inspired MIDI-pop track, and her sugary, nearly monotone voice amplifies the misery in her lyrics. "Small Town" appears on Kero Kero Bonito's newish debut "mixtape," Intro Bonito, and you can listen to the tune below.

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