I love pop music. Better yet, I love crappy pop music. Give me NSYNC, JoJo, Britney Spears, or anything of that nature and I will shake my way-past-middle-school-age ass all night long. (I even have a great case for why Ashlee Simpson’s Autobiography was possibly the best album of 2004, but I won’t go into that now.) In it’s truest form, pop music is fast, appealing, fun, and slickly produced. Kanda is this exactly, but with something very unique and un-characteristic of the genre: substance.
On their second effort, All the Good Meetings are Taken, Kanda comes out pushing the nursery rhyme candor of the Moldy Peaches, if the Peaches had ever made it past the 5th grade. The first track, “Arctic,” is a static nod to two things that go hand in hand: love and dancing, opening with the amusing line “You melt the arctic every time you dance/ the ballroom’s not at all/ but you would take a chance.” Every song bounces and bubbles, carrying themes ranging from cocaine to hipster dancing in white pants to telephones.
In a perfect world, pop music would be moving in an artistic direction, and Kanda would ideally be at the forefront. Unlike the neo-traditional pop artists currently sinking their teeth deep into the mainstream, the two faces that make up Kanda (Arland Nicewater and Akina Kawauchi) write and perform all of their own music. They also don’t resemble 45-year-old Swedish producers that have mysteriously infiltrated the American pop scene (see: Britney’s release Baby One More Time.) All Good the Meetings are Taken proves the obvious: Kanda are witty and striking, smart and cute. They are kinda like that spunky blonde underage girlfriend with a Monroe-piercing who wears a Her Space Holiday t-shirt that you never had.