The new single from indie-pop duo Marsupial Soup is eccentric, infectious and, groovy in all the right measures.
When the art of song and literature intersect, some of music’s most intriguing and iconic tracks are born. Without this cultural crossover we would not have been blessed with Kate Bush’s Bronte-inspired art-pop powerhouse ‘Wuthering Heights’, Jefferson Airplane’s trip to Wonderland with their psychedelic classic ‘White Rabbit’, or even Rage Against the Machine’s Orwellian thrasher ‘Testify’. Now, Leeds-based bedroom pop brothers Marsupial Soup aim to join that canon with their funky take on Haruki Murakami’s magic realism in their dreamy new single ‘Kumiko’.
With its intro layered over the sound of a jamming printer, the track is laden with whimsy from the outset. Lead vocalist Joe Norris purrs in gravelly tones over woozy guitars while lamenting a love of mistreatment and malice. The lyrics are resentful – “I don’t think so/You left me soaking in the puddle of your ego/I tip-toed between your lies” – yet the sonic is surprisingly mischievous; their sound lies somewhere between the lo-fi reserve of Clairo and the tongue-in-cheek spirit of Bad Sounds.
The brothers make time for some satisfyingly harmonic interplay before launching into the chorus: a swaggering reproach of the song’s titular character, the headstrong and elusive wife in Murakami’s novel The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles. A thumping second verse bass and a rip-roaring guitar solo leads to the song’s swirling fade. It’s a joy that a single so odd and playful can come out such a long, cold, COVID-ridden winter, but this relieving 3-minute escape into the realm of surrealist bedroom pop is a prescription we could all do with right about now.