Such is the sugar-submersed, twinkly and hyperactive vibe of Kanda’s All the Good Meetings Are Taken. Kanda—rhymes with panda; and panda’s are cute cute cute(!!!!), much like the music of Kanda. The duo that the band is comprised of twist harmonies around dreamy techno beats created from a mixture of violin, distorted guitars, glockenspiel and a hell of a lot of synthesizer—all done impressively on a laptop. Weee for technology!
Adeptly labeled “fuzz pop,” Kanda’s unique noise is individualized into tracks with seemingly mundane titles like “Arctic,” “List,” “Filler,” and my personal favorite, “Ronnie Stay in That Basement.” The sun-lit suburban house-front gracing their album cover suggests a simple and cheery moment of domestic normalcy. What is contained inside is nothing but—a quirky scene of ravers and indie scenesters baking cookies while doing the robot or something of that bizarre nature.
Akina Kawauchi and Arland Nicewander, who make up Kanda, share the vocal duty of narrating those humdrum track titles with an ethereal quality of voice that tickles the ear. Arland takes the moodier acoustic-driven pieces with a smooth bass voice, and Akina’s higher-pitched tart voice sings sweetly to the rapid electro-pop-dominated tracks, once even in Japanese (or so it seems).
A combination of Tilly and the Wall’s familiar campfire feel, Mates of State’s brilliant chemistry, and The Postal Service’s skilled synthesizing beats—Kanda fuses together what can only be described as a sultry indie-electro bed time story. Their catchy twinkle and shimmer invoke images of robots tucking in little kids at night underneath glow-in-the-dark stars tacked to the ceiling.
(Bop Tart Records)