New Release | Kyoto Lo-Fi — Flowering Boulder

Kyoto Lo-Fi drummer Nehuen Erazo and singer/guitarist Nico Caruso met up with Wavelength to discuss the release of their new single, "Flowering Boulder."

Brittany Griffiths | 12 July 2019


     Yesterday marked the first release of the year for Dallas-based band Kyoto Lo-Fi. Their single, “Flowering Boulder,” signifies a pointed shift away from previous efforts in self-recording toward studio production. The song was recorded with Greg Muzljakovich (Blue 13 Productions) and showcases a different side of Kyoto Lo-Fi’s creative output. Though “Flowering Boulder” had been written by singer Nico Caruso and shelved for years, it wasn’t until the band was deciding on the next song they wanted to record that he pulled it down and dusted it off. But even then – Nico wasn’t 100% sure about the arrangement of the song, so two days before entering the studio, he played around with it and pitched a new version of it to the band. After practicing it a few times, they went into the studio with the framework of the new arrangement, and in the process of recording, worked out the version that would become the final release of "Flowering Boulder." The development of “Flowering Boulder” is a perfect example of what many musicians find enjoyable about the recording process – beginning with the outline of an idea, collaborating with other artists, and through that process, creating something they all agree on and are satisfied with. “We want to get to the point where the craft is there… all the hours, time, everything put into it is just like really, really devoted to that one song,” says Nehuen, “but it’s that – it’s the time and care that really matters to the song, that makes it or breaks it.”
     Their first EP, Black Rainbow, was self-recorded with a more bare bones, lo-fi approach. Black Rainbow is an impressive first EP, and one that Kyoto Lo-Fi is proud of, but despite that, they wanted to make a move toward creating something with higher production quality. A move they hope will help station them outside the compartmentalized genre of lo-fi music. “You like it [Black Rainbow’s lo-fi sound] because you’re into that sound, it is very niche. People that appreciate that kind of aesthetic, it’s very, very niche,” says Nico. Nehuen nods in agreement, “That’s why we try to call ourselves post-indie because basically we can play any style of indie we want that’s considered indie.”
     Genre specific language is helpful to a certain extent. You have to create a vocabulary that you can use to carry on a dialogue about music, but the present day atmosphere of self-recording and mass streaming has fueled the division of music into microgenres that have made the way we think about and talk about music more confining. This fact is one that Kyoto Lo-Fi members are aware of and choose to side step by just playing the music that they want to play. “People say, because of the single, ‘oh, you’re an indie band,’” says Nico, “but honestly, all the songs sound different. They are all stylistically different… the rhythm and everything changes.” “For me,” Nehuen adds, “I went back and listened to Damon Albarn when he released the first Gorillaz record which had hip hop, reggae, punk — it had all these sounds, and you never said, ‘Oh, Gorillaz is whatever’ no, Gorillaz is Gorillaz. Kyoto Lo-Fi is Kyoto Lo-Fi. We’re not going to try to pigeonhole ourselves… just fuck it, do what Damon Albarn did and pump out good songs. That’s what matters.” At the end of the day, when it comes to music, definitions essentially fall to the wayside, and it all comes down to the simple question – do you like it? From Black Rainbow and their 2018 single "Godot" to the release of "Flowering Boulder," Kyoto Lo-Fi hasn't skipped a beat in bringing a high energy to their music and performances — a strong sign of a band with a clear vision of what they want to create. So the simple question is — do you like it? The answer — yes.

You can follow Kyoto Lo-Fi, listen to their new single, and keep track of their upcoming shows and releases at the links below.

Flowering Boulder | Cover Photo

Song: Flowering Boulder
Artist: Kyoto Lo-Fi
Release date: 11 July 2019

from left to right photos by Ashley Gallegos & Tara Maddin


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Brittany Griffiths is a writer from Dallas, Texas. She is the founder and editor of Spontaneous Afflatus, an independent publishing house that specializes in poetry and short story collections. She is also the editor of Wavelength Magazine. Last year she released her debut poetry collection titled, Ebb & Flow.

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