As far as Kurt Cobain was concerned, Shonen Knife might as well have been the Fab Four. A major fan of the legendary all-women Japanese band, Cobain famously said he was “transformed into a hysterical nine-year-old girl at a Beatles concert” upon seeing Shonen Knife live for the first time.
Such was the effect of Shonen Knife’s singular mix of minimalist ’60s pop crossed with the classic punk song structures of Buzzcocks and Ramones on Cobain, who would invite the ladies to open for Nirvana in Europe in 1991.
Established back in the early ’80s, the band was already a phenomenon in their home country when they hit the US by way of albums like Let’s Knife and Rock Animals in the ’90s, introducing Shonen Knife to America’s burgeoning alternative scene.
The ladies have continued releasing albums ever since, with founding members Naoko and Atsuko Yamano as the constants while a rotating cast of bandmates come and go. Sweet Candy Power will be the first Shonen Knife full-length since 2016’s Adventure when it’s released on June 7.
“This album is an homage to my favorite rock music from the 1960s and 1970s,” Naoko Yamano explains via email. “Also, I put all of my enjoyment, entertainment, joy, and delight into my songs. Inspired by my experience during tours and my daily life, I wrote the lyrics with fun and a little bit of irony. I hope people get happy through this album.”
The first single from the album, “Dizzy,” is a hyper-catchy pop-rock confection that takes up residence in a listener’s head after the first sing-along chorus.
“I wanted to write a song which our audience and the band can enjoy together at our show,” Yamano says of the infectious track. “I put the part of clapping hands and stepping feet on this song. I put pop melody lines on my lyrics, which were inspired by my experience.”
“Dizzy” arrives with a live performance music video featuring the musicians having a full-fledged dance party onstage to the new comeback single.
“We filmed this video at a music club called Fandango in our hometown of Osaka,” Yamano reveals. “We often play at this venue. Our live albums Live in Osaka and Alive! In Osaka were recorded here. Unfortunately, its location will move to a new place soon. You can have fun when you watch the video. We made the choreography by ourselves. We sweated after dancing!”
Watch the new Shonen Knife video for “Dizzy” below. Have fun!