Following on from previous releases, Make Me Rich and their cover of Fergie's Glamorous, Japanese-Belgian duo Aili continue to ignore their bank balance and explore the finer things in life with new single Fashion. A somewhat tongue-in-cheek tribute to the strange world of haute couture, Fashion sees Aili Maruyama and Orson Wouters deliver another playful electro-pop number, this time adding traditional Japanese string instrument, the koto, to their banks of synths and Aili's deadpan vocals.
Built around an unhurried groove and hypnotic Kosmiche bass line, camera-flash like bursts of melody all come together to provide the perfect backdrop for Maruyama to explore the Japanese relationship to fashion. Something that anyone who has taken a walk around Tokyo's famed Harajuku district, or developed a taste for raw selvedge denim produced in the Okayama prefecture, will know they can take remarkably seriously.
As Maruyama sings, this time entirely in Japanese, that's even reflected in the language used to describe how you wear different items of clothing. 'Japanese uses different verbs that mean 'to wear' depending on what you're talking about,' she says. 'For example, unlike Dutch, Japanese has the verb "kaburu" for items you wear on your head as opposed to "kiru" for anything you cover your upper body with.'
Accompanying the single the band produced a video that captures the joyful and surreal nature of both the band and the fashion world itself. Serving up their best catwalk looks, a paint splattered Maruyama and Wouters take turns modelling everything from shirts made from salad leaves, to lemon glasses, grape earrings, green pea necklaces and more. 'Fashion may be taken seriously but that doesn't mean it needs to be serious,' Maruyama says. 'The video is a treat for the senses, one that hopefully will make you smile and your mouth water at the same time.'
So there you have it, if you start to see kids on Brussels' Rue Dansaert dressed in trousers made from witloof in the coming months at least you'll now know who to blame.
Bursting onto the scene in 2021 with their acclaimed debut EP, Dansu, Aili Maruyama and Orson Wouters have continually defied expectations as they playfully blend leftfield pop with underground electronic sounds. Having recently just returned from playing their first live shows in Japan, where they also collaborated with Nariaki Obukuro and Yaffle's TOKA creative company, Fashion is the first hint of what's to come from the band's debut album, set for release on Eskimo Recordings in 2024.
Photo credits: 2023 © Tina Lewis Herbots