Today (July 30), Haiku Hands are releasing their new song ‘Fashion Model Art’ featuring Sofi Tukker – and announcing their self-titled debut album.
The fresh single, which pokes fun at the rarefied fashion and art worlds, follows the song ‘Manbitch’, released in April. Both tracks, along with several other singles the dance pop trio have released in the past, will appear on ‘Haiku Hands’. Most of the album was recorded in Melbourne with Joel Ma. The record will be released September 11 via Spinning Top and Mad Decent.
NME caught up with Haiku Hands’ Beatrice Lewis, Mie and Claire Nakazawa to chat about ‘Fashion Model Art’ – which you can hear below – as well as their recent performance livestream, and how it feels to finally release an album.
Haiku Hands have toured with Sofi Tukker in the past. What was it like to join forces again on this song?
Beatrice Lewis: I think working with Sofi and Tukker on this song was a match made in heaven! They are two of the most kind, committed, hilarious, hardworking lunatics I have ever met. They always loved ‘Fashion Model Art’ when we were on tour with them, and when we were finishing it for the album we reached out to them immediately. They were moving from Los Angeles to Florida during the process and still managed to find time to send beats, record vocals and mix it. They both work so hard to bring their unique fluro-flavoured type of joy to the world.
‘Fashion Model Art’ is this peppy, tongue-in-cheek tune making fun of the fashion and art worlds. Was it inspired by any real-life experiences?
Mie Nakazawa: Yeah, the chorus came to life on the train going home from the Sydney Biennale, which is an international festival of contemporary art. We found enjoyment out of the ridiculousness of the art/fashion world and made up the chant “Fashion fashion, model model, art art art”. We chanted this all the way back home.
I hope when people are feeling uncomfortable in certain industries they can think of this song and it will remind them that it is all a bit ridiculous and then they can enjoy themselves.
Earlier this month, you live-streamed a show from a warehouse in Sydney. What was that experience like?
Mie: It was really good to perform after so long. Our crew and dancers were hyped which was a good vibe. I could feel everyone was craving to do their job. It definitely was hard to get the same energy I would on stage, I missed our audiences’ smiling faces.
Claire Nakazawa: I enjoyed performing more than I remembered. I loved hanging out with the dancers, guests and production team after so much iso time. It was also a great opportunity to work on our live visual show with Ali [Sahib] (Dr Infinite). It was definitely different performing to cameras but still heaps of fun.
You’re known and loved for your live shows. Has it been devastating not being able to perform live in this period, and how have you three been taking it?
Mie: It was kinda nice at first to have a bit of a rest, cos we were pretty turbo on the touring front the last two years. But now I really miss it, already looking forward to our next scheduled gig in JANUARY.
Claire: At first it was a welcome break as we’ve been performing nearly non-stop for three years. But doing the filmed show gee’d me up and now I’d leg it to the next festival gig.
It’s confronting that we’re releasing our debut album that we had a world tour planned for and that we won’t be able to perform our new album songs live for a while. We’ve been leading up to this album release for a while and have been COVID’d, but a lot of people are in the same boat.
You’ve been building up to your debut album for three years. How was it like putting together a full-length release after a string of singles?
Beatrice: It was lovely. Some of the songs on this album are some of the OGs and some are brand-new babies so it feels like it’s a real opus to the last few years of writing. There is a real diversity of sounds and I hope there is something for everyone in there. It’s such a crazy time in the world, I would like if this album can offer something to anyone who needs it.
Of the unreleased songs on the album, which are you most excited for fans to hear and why?
Claire: ‘Car Crash’, it was one of the first songs written and recorded. It’s a bit terrifying because I recorded it when I was starting out very fresh as a vocalist and my singing is very ‘vulnerable’. There’s a lot of history and feeling in the lyrics and energy of it.
I’m also excited about ‘Eat This Bass’ coming, It was VERY organically written, is a bit cathartic and super fun to perform. It’s got A LOT of mojo.