Click here to return to the main site.

Music Review

Cover Image



Artist: Pom Poko
Label: Bella Union
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 22 February 2019

Pom Poko release their new LP, Birthday, through Bella Union. The band consists of members Ragnhild (lead vocals), Ola (drums), Jonas (bass) and Martin (guitar). The four cite a range of questing influences on their unique sound, including “(West)-African music like Oumou Sangaré and Ali Farka Touré; indie bands like Vulfpeck, Palm and KNOWER; noisy high-energy bands such as Hella and Death Grips; and music with interesting lyrics such as Jenny Hval and Nick Drake.” But you’d struggle to pin them down to one or two forebears, given their resistance to anything resembling a prescriptive approach...

Birthday is not an album you can listen to just the once and dismiss or instantly connect with. There are so many variants here to soak up that even after a month of listening to this on and off I'm still not sure if I'm able to give this a fair review... I keep thinking "just one more listen..." because each time I hear it I find something new that I missed on previous plays.

Speaking about the origin of their name, which is taken from one of the more vigorously outré films by Japanese animation visionaries Studio Ghibli, the band explain, “The Pom Poko film captures a lot of what we'd like our concerts to be: high energy, fast pace, lots of stimulus for eyes and ears – and most importantly, really crazy and fun. The movie is basically the time of your life for two hours, and afterwards you're in some state of exhausted ecstasy. Plus the raccoons in the movie, and raccoons in general, are really badass.”

For me, the album gets more enjoyable the more you progress through it, with the closing two tracks 'If U Want Me 2 Stay' and 'Peachy' being the two that remain most memorable.

If you're after something a little different; an indie pop/rock sound that's impossible to pin down, then Birthday is worth checking out.


Nick Smithson

Buy this item online

Each of the store links below opens in a new window, allowing you to compare the price of this product from various online stores.

Digital album
iTunes GB
Digital album