Kero Kero Bonito have laid fairly low throughout the pandemic, releasing the "It's Bugsnax!" single in 2020 (from the Bugsnax video game), and this year releasing their second Civilization EP, which was combined with the first EP from 2019 as one vinyl album. Civilization finds them returning to synthpopland after successful experiments with shoegaze and indie rock. They just seem to get better, with a broader palette, with every new release. They did a little touring this fall, too, including playing the NYC and L.A. editions of the "Night of Fire" parties with Arca, Eartheater, Machine Girl, and more. You can listen to Civilization below.
As for what KKB were listed to this year, they've sent us a list of "ten albums from 2021 we love." They write: "We haven't tried to pick the objective best or rank them, because that isn't how music works, but ten that we think you should hear if you haven't, in no order. On that note, there are plenty more we could've written about, so shout out to Spirit of the Beehive, Injury Reserve, JPEGMafia, Fake Laugh & Tarquin, Rirugiliyangugili, Porter Robinson, Foodman, Kučka, Erika de Casier, Wave Racer, Spellling and many more for making magic pop music this year." KKB's Gus Lobban and Jamie Bulled provided commentary for all 10 and you can read that, and listen to their picks, below.