kanon x kanon - Calendula Requiem & Koi No Doutei
Celebrating kanon x kanon’s 2011 European tour, Gan Shin Records releases two singles next week. Inspired by their love of anime, kanon x kanon hopes to introduce a more distinctly underground sound to a greater mainstream audience. Debut single ‘Calendula Requiem’ is a nicely arranged debut piece from the twin-Kanons, showcasing a strong synergy between Wakashima’s unusual vocals and masterfully agile cello and Kanon’s edgy bass. The energeticism of the opening track transmogrifies for b-side ‘Dollhouse!’ With a hook that sounds like it was composed for either a 60s horror sitcom or a creepy fairground ride, the track develops into a pretty bonkers mix of cello, electronic organs and twinkly bits, galvanizing Wakashima’s haunting lyrics pertaining to a doll fearing its own entrapment within a spooky old room.
Sadly their strong debut is followed up by a frustratingly limp effort. ‘Koi No Doutei’ [a.k.a. What Were They Thinking?] is a surprisingly up-beat tune, given that the anime series it accompanies (30-sai no Hoken Taiiku) is about a sexually frustrated salary man, but it’s about as bland as anime themes get, which is almost shocking given the pairing of these two uniformly diverse talents. I can only imagine, then, that kanon x kanon was hindered by the demands of the studio they were working for. B-side ‘Ren Ai No Susume’ fares a little better, with a catchier chorus making more out of Wakashima’s trademark warbling, but still there’s little of that unique variety that fans would come to expect. The final track ‘Koi No Doutei Madmaid 17’s DT Bassline Remix’ is the better of the three tracks presented: a spastic techno gathering of beeps, boops, heavy basslines and wobbly noises, with little vocal intrusion.