Not long ago, the duo of AZUpubschool and singer (Update: and producer! She’s every bit as prodigious a producer as a vocalist, having made songs for Yun*Chi and surely having input into this. Five seconds of research would have shown me this, and now my ass is out, sorry about that!) Coris were getting goofily cute and slicing up kiwi ghosts in the charming “Kiwi no Uta.” It was silly (and catchy) fun, but the new two song collection Kagerou Matsuri shows the duo hitting on all the potential the Kiwi project has been hinting at this year. The songs make good on the title (“matsuri” referring to summer festivals held in Japan), managing to be both sweltering and celebratory. “Iki Michi” starts as a piano number before a synth that sounds like cicadas chirping off enters, and the song picks up the pace. It’s meant to capture the rush of walking to a street festival, the song’s heart practically bursting as melodies inspired by matsuri dances emerge.
The stunner, though, is “Hanabi.” It’s a dizzying electronic number that never really slows down as much as finds a way to get Coris into the mix seamlessly. It takes cues from Jersey Club and the sugar pop of artists such as Tomggg (while also adding some character by working in samples of countryside staples such as frogs and summer fireworks, the latter serving almost as the song’s climax), but Kiwi merge all of these ideas together into something all their own. It’s the most heart-racing moment from a group who specializes in capturing anticipation. Listen above.