The Lost Tape: Koi Child Interview
Sometimes things just work. Mayonnaise on chips. A hard-hitting adult cartoon about a talking horse. Malteasers and popcorn. The fusion of jazz and rap. Speaking of which, the combined musical power Childs Play and Kashikoi. Although Koi Child might not be edible but their smooth blend of brass and boisterous energy sure is tasty. I got to chat to one resident Freo cool guy with keyboard style from Koi Child, Tom about Pokémon Go (his favourite being Slowbro), True Detective, Jaala, incense-fueled, didgeridoo-included jams in boat sheds in the prescence of Kevin Parker and the vibin’ Perth music scene. I promise you, it was a really fantastic chin-wag but I’ve forgot to mention one key point…
Sometimes things don’t work.
Like farting in a cramped and steamy bathroom. Or like trying to record a phone interview with Tom from Koi Child.
Things might not be going so well for me but at least Koi Child have experienced wild success in the past 12 months. Since dropping their self-titled debut in March, KC have been touring Aus and are set to run rings around the summer festival circuit, playing ‘This That’ Fest, Strawberry Fields, Southbound and Laneway. Dropping some gorgeously aesthetic and creative music vids (although Tom assured me that the aesthetic wasn’t planned; they’re just trying to do it cheap), it’s clear that the Koi Bois are quickly cementing themselves as an original band that’s shaping the new sound of Perth music.
Perhaps beyond non-conformism, Koi Child are the tangible product of a generation of West Aussie musicians who are striking out from following a trend. They’re making it trendy to not be trend. Bands like Pond, Tame Impala, Abbe May, Birds of Tokyo, Benjamin Witt, and Sprawl are carving their own path. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Triffids, Eurogliders and The Scientists but as much as their garage grunge pop/rock purports to be anti-establishment and alternative, that was the ‘sexy’ genre of the time.
Of course not everyone is doing their own thing in sunny ol’ Perth; psychedelic 420 bro-rock and angry bedroom post-punk reign supreme but the effortlessly cool musical pioneers are the pure drop that create the ripples in an ocean of mediocrity. (Don’t hate me Perth musos, sometimes if it ain’t broke you don’t have to fix it).
Perth has often been compared to Iceland as a place for producing off-beat tunes; the common link? Ironically, isolation. And to create a bit of extra isolation inception, Koi Child probably couldn’t have chosen a more sequestered place to record their debut record. Under the tutelage of Freo’s darling and esteemed god of psychedelia Kevin Parker, a river island fishing shack was converted into a studio just south of Mandurah. The closing track to the record, ‘To Mangebong’ is the sun dipping below the horizon and plays homage to little fishing shack that could. When Tom recounts the night-long jam that led to that 40 second outro it is hard not to feel jealous. But listening to the record in its entirety, the liquid sunset-gold setting feels tangible around you and you melt into a sometimes lazy, sometimes lively, always smooth musical journey. I for one, will be looking to the horizon for more.