Music I’m digging: Tricot’s AND

Hey you! Hope you’re doing well. I just wanted to share some music I’ve been digging lately. An all-girl Japanese band called Tricot.

The band formed in 2010 in Kyoto, Japan, founded by Ikumi Nakajima (frontwoman, guitar), Motoko Kida (lead guitar, backing vocals), and Hiromi Sagane (bass, backing vocals). Fun to mention that the intro to the song above has a very Number Girl feel, like an echo to the opening riff in “Destruction Baby.”

Tricot has been described numerous times as a math rock band coated in accessible, catchy-ass riffs and grooves along with Nakajima’s voice, which seems to forcefully sing with a purpose. You could say it’s  math pop, in a way.

A lot of songs off their older EPs have these 5/8 or 6/8 time sigs which are all as catchy as a cold, but it wasn’t until their first full length album, THE, that you really started to see them grab a hold of their element.

While technically an all-girl trio, the band had a male drummer, Kazutaki Komaki, who accentuated Tricot’s punkish yet neatly organized style. I mean, just check this dude out.

Sadly, he left the group in 2014 after touring for THE,  for what I’m assuming involved artistic reasons.

But this departure led to a sorta reworking of the band itself, which led to their most recent and, by far, strongest work to date, AND.

 

You hear a lot of what makes Tricot in this album but with so much more attention to the arrangements and time changes. Plus, they had 5(!) studio drummers for this effort, each with a different take (and gear) on how to accent the Tricot sound! Check out this Samba breakdown they get into!

 

“Niwa” is by far one of my favorites.  Nida’s janky riff motif (especially post-samba breakdown) always gets me wild! And for that matter, when you have a samba jam in any song, you know people are gonna get down to it.

The opening track, “Noradrenaline” lets the listener know that this is definitely a Tricot song. Nakajima’s soft-then-forceful singing. The preciseness of Nida’s fingering on lead. Sagane’s ability to hold down the rhythm while seamlessly laying out those fills. Even the drumming is reminiscent to Komaki’s.

But the arrangement of it all feels somehow, mature. Like they’re entering this new stage of songwriting. They’re trying things here that they haven’t, to my knowledge, previously explored.

And that’s what this album seems to be for Tricot: an exploration of sorts into their own sound. When Komaki left the band, Nakajima wrote  on their site that Tricot would need to go through a “restart.”

Tracks like “Pieeen,” with it’s straight four-on-the-floor groove intertwined with some great piano in the forefront and “Hashire,” where the refrains work so well around each and accentuate how dope and well-placed that halftime section is, show Tricot feeling their way out of the hole that Komaki left in the band. And I gotta say, they come out graceful as fuck.

 

So yeah, definitely check that album out. You will not be disappointed.

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