Polynesian Gothic: Tikahiri’s back with new album & clip
Tikahiri, my favorite Pa’umotu goth band – and perhaps the only Pa’umoth goth band that ever will exist – is about to release their second studio album dubbed Merahi Kerekere. According to the band’s Facebook page, the discs are sous douane, which I’m liberally interpreting as “stuck in customs”. Luckily, three tracks are already up for listening on Reverb Nation. Two of the tracks (“A Tauahi Mai” and “Kareho Koe”) are in Pa’umotu, the language of the Tuamotu archipelago where lead members Aroma and Mano Salmon grew up. The other (“Falling in Love”) is in English. (Note: no tracks in French, so Tikahiri’s right on par with indie bands in France métropolitaine.)
I must say that Tikahiri in English feels different than Tikahiri in a Polynesian language. The latter feels breezy and fresh, even in its darker moments, sounding as if it is out of 21st century Tahiti where the band lives and records. Tikahiri in English, on the other hand, tends to transport me to L.A. somewhere in the 80s – a curious, though not unpleasant, experience, to say the least.
Linguistic matters aside, Tikahiri seems to be following in the tracks of their debut Tamaki Hope’a, as they remain faithful to their acoustic aesthetic all the while developing it further. As if taken out of some modernist composition, the cellos riffs that open “Falling in Love”, for instance, add a sense of urgency unheard on their debut.
Until Merahi Kerekere is finally released and, hopefully, on iTunes for easy download, I suggest checking out the clip of the making of “Kareho Koe” up on the Facebook page as well. You get to follow band, crew, and, of course, attractive young female model up to the mountains outside of Pape’ete for a late night shoot. I must say that it’s the first time I’ve ever seen a Polynesian man rock a goth look with black lipstick and vintage military jackets, all the while retaining the testosterone factor. (Of course, many of us have seen a few with significantly brighter shades of lipstick, but that’s a different experience altogether that one should be in the mood for.)
- Aroma Salmon – Vocals, Guitar
- Simon Pillard – Cello
- Stephane Rossoni – Drums
- Mano Salmon – Vocals, Bass
How to Listen
Tikahiri’s first album Tamaki Hope’a is available for download from Amazon.com and on iTunes.
New songs on Merahi Kerekere
If I’m guess right from my Hawaiian and basic Tahitian, tupapaku is pa’umotu for “corpse”. So going off the track names, you have a gothic medley of love, life, and death… and whatever track nine is about.
- Kareho Koe
- Falling in Love
- A Tauahi Mai
- Beautiful Lady
- Merahi Kerekere
- In Love
- You Make My Life
- Take Me Away
- Beyond Reach
More of Tikahiri on Kaila Hawaiʻi
- Tikahiri’s Facebook page