“I want pleasure on my French toast/ I am here to be, to be sexy and free” – this bizarre nine-second skit opens Pleasure Beast, the second record by out-there and proud alt-dance trio Haiku Hands (composed of sisters Claire and Mie Nakazawa, and Beatrice Lewis).
The story goes that Claire and Mie had so much fun being Hermitude’s backup dancers/singers that they wanted to do their own thing and seek out more performance opportunities. Claire had previously met Beatrice at a music festival, which is extremely fitting since Haiku Hands are an instant vibe shift guaranteed to brighten any mood. Can’t wait to see them live! We’ve heard wild headwear, matchy-matchy trackies and synchronised chorey are involved.
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Unapologetically celebrating your individuality and self-empowerment are running themes throughout Pleasure Beast (see: closer Nanchucka: “Nobody knows I am the greatest/ I make you all know it”). According to Beatrice, Cool For You – with its driving, ravey Chemical Brothers-esque beat – is “a statement that you’re already good”. Listen out for a dolphin sample within the woozy heat haze of Paradise, which details carefree summery activities and delicious sweet treats (“coconuts”, “vanilla ice cream”, “banana splits”).
Standout track To The Left features squeaky step-on-rubber-ducky accents, persistent hi-hats and a galloping beat that calls Vangelis to mind – toddlers will be mad for it. “There’s no cash back money guarantee on the fu-ture/ You can’t take a loan on the past let’s get loo-ser…” – we wanna hear this one while munted at the Supernatural Amphitheatre. And Jamaica Moana’s verse in nuts. Rewind! To The Left, which was co-produced by Beatrice and the legendary Paul Mac, demands multiple repeat listens and then a quick sonic detour: BRB, we simply must revisit Itch-E And Scratch-E’s masterstroke, Sweetness And Light.
“I’m a fiend for the fun and I level up” – Geddit, which signals sky-punch pogo o’clock, brings I Go Hard, I Go Home by The Presets to mind. Built from a cute sentiment (“Grandma said you’re gonna go far”), Grandma also bemoans smartphone addiction: “I just wanna take my phone/ Smash it with a bowling ball…” The bouncy Chito (a lady hustler, apparently) – which gives us punky, electro-pop MIA vibes – sports leopard print and “high tops in temples”. Penultimate stomper Ma Ruler deals LOLs while we cut sick: “Ayyy, Ma Ruler/ She’s got a spicy munta/ Munchy, munchy cunta…”
Pleasure Beast’s throughline is escapism and not taking yourself/life too seriously. Don’t be the fun police, just follow the Hands wherever they guide you. Dancefloor therapy has never sounded so good and your future self will thank you.
RELEASE DATE: 1 DEC
LABEL: SPINNING TOP RECORDS