“I want pleasure on my French toast,” declares the opening number from Haiku Hands’ new album. “I am here to be, to be sexy and free”.
In spite of its 8-second runtime, the track – aptly named ‘Pleasure’ – outlines the band’s statement of intent with a deft touch: fun, direct and unapologetically kooky.
Pleasure Beast, the trio’s second full album, proceeds to deliver forty minutes of EDM, pop and rap with an eye firmly fixed to the dancefloor at all times. Consisting of Bea Lewis and sisters Claire and Mie Nakazawa, Haiku Hands have a whole lot in their arsenal. From the escapist trance synth of ‘Paradise‘, to the confrontational warehouse rave of ‘Cool For You’.
The shadowy figure of capitalism remains a looming antagonist throughout the LP, but the primary take-away of Pleasure Beast is that these demons are best faced with the force of irreverence. This is an exercise in self liberation and a celebration of joy in all forms.
We caught up with Haiku Hands in the days following their set at Hackney’s Oslo.
Vogue have compared you to Scissor Sisters, Azealia Banks and Björk. Of Haiku Hands’ three members; who presents the most Scissor Sisters energy, who is the most Björk and who is the most Azealia Banks?
Björk – Bea
Scissor Sisters – Mie
Azealia Banks – Claire
You recently toured the US in support of Big Freedia, how do the sets in which you are winning fans over compare to your headline performances?
It’s a really different experience! At our headline performance, everyone’s so keen and onboard from the first moment. Which often makes these shows easier and more elevated. You’re all in it together and the energy is shared and enhanced from the get-go.
When we’re performing to a new audience, it feels a bit like a game or challenge, sometimes halfway though the first song or second song we see people deciding that they’re into it and then they’re with us for the rest of the show. Their energy is contagious with others in the audience and, by the end of the set, when the whole crowd is into it, it’s such a great feeling. It’s like they’ve discovered something new and we’ve made a bunch of new mates, too.
You are fast approaching the status of festival must-see, which has been your favourite Haiku Hands festival performance to date?
That is a huge question, we’ve had so many amazing festival experiences…
A few that initially come to mind are Panama headline set, unexpectedly, Marrickville street festival, Blue Mountains winter magic. Splendour in the Grass for sure! Laneway festival, Pitch and The Operatives Melbourne Music week show. And definitely Pohoda festival in Slovakia and Haldern Pop festival in Germany!
Pleasure Beast boasts a killer list of contributors, who is on the hit list of dream collaborators for the next album?
Rhianna, Tierra Whack, Fourtet, Dom Dolla.
What plans do you have lined up for the rest of 2024?
We are currently on tour in the UK and Berlin. And we’d love to come back over here in summer and do a festival run.
When we go home in February we’re doing our Australian headline tour in Sydney Melbourne and Brisbane. Then we’ll see what happens, our plan is to play at heaps of festivals around the world!
Pleasure Beast is out now via Spinning Top Records – listen here.
feature image: Bronte Godden