reviewed by Kaitlin Ruether
In their song, “Election Night”, Kakagi take a concept with a world of connotation behind it and turn it into a poetic image. Acoustic nighttime energy merging with eloquent lyrics and examinations of perspective. It’s this kind of complexity that the Winnipeg four-piece excel at on their latest EP, Stay Up Late: as modern as you can imagine without losing their prairie-folk roots.
The band first came together at a Kakagi Lake summer camp in Northwestern Ontario, hence the name, which — as their first EP states with its title — is Pronounced: /Ke-Ka-Gi/. The clean vocals seem to blend the casual tone of indie-pop group The Front Bottoms with moments of twang akin to Neil Young. While the guitar spreads like drops of dye in a glass of water, the lyrics hold that modernity, such as the confession on “Stay Up Late”: “I live online when I feel alone.”
“Honest Ed’s” brings the sense of the humour that the band have established. Seemingly from the perspective of the landmark discount store in Toronto, the song features lyrics like “I had thin gloves and thinner toques. Never once was I accused of being pricey. Never once did I insist you lay down roots.” There’s a double meaning there that feels like a protective coat — but of course, with Honest Ed’s, it’s not a thick one.
After two EPs, Kakagi are working on a full-length album to be released this fall. We can only wait and see what observations they release about the modern world next.
Top Track: “Election Night”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)