Kero Kero Bonito - When The Fires Come

Song of the Day
Today's Song of the Day, as chosen by KEXP DJs John Richards, Cheryl Waters, and Kevin Cole, in honor of International Clash Day's Clash for Climate, is “When The Fires Come” by Kero Kero Bonito, from the 2019 album Civilisation I on Polyvinyl.
photo by mia sakai
written by Janice Headley

This week, KEXP is featuring songs written in response to the climate crisis, as selected by DJs John Richards, Cheryl Waters, and Kevin Cole. Tune in this Friday, February 7th as KEXP celebrates International Clash Day; what began as a tribute to The Clash’s music and legacy has evolved into a banner celebration of the issues and message they stood for. The Clash were unapologetically confrontational and champions of the oppressed, always striving for the possibility of a better world. That’s why in 2020 we’re using the holiday to Clash For Climate. More information here


As a pillar of smoke reaches over to strangle the land
We desert all we have as fast as we can
For the valleys
Then I see when I look right behind me
At the seam of the rocks and the trees, it roars
It's angry

On their 2019 EP Civilisation I, UK pop trio Kero Kero Bonito take a somber look at issues like war, the environment, and the distant future, "when humans have been wiped from the face of the Earth," as they put it. The release finds the band returning to the synth-heavy sounds of their 2016 debut LP Bonito Generation, while still retaining some of the shoegaze-y elements they introduced on 2018's album Time 'n' Place.

Band member Gus Lobban tells us, via a press release:

""When the Fires Come" is about the worldwide wildfires heralding the seemingly imminent climate change apocalypse. It was partially inspired by our experience on tour in North California last year, when we got caught underneath the smoke cloud from the Camp Fire. The video was shot on the hottest day of 2019 in Britain. It is the first song of a new project."

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