Smash cut to Kiwi Jr.’s third album, Chopper, overseen by trusted pilot Dan Boeckner (Wolf Parade, Handsome Furs) on storied Sub Pop Records. Turning nocturnal with necks mock turtle, our Local Kiwi Jr. takes neon flight off the digital cliff - like The Monkees starring in Blade Runner; like Michael Mann directs Encino Man. Ten songs with synth shimmer, zen gongs with yard strimmer. The signs along the highway read “LESS BAR, MORE NOIR AHEAD.” Ah, those late summer, Joe Strummer, Home on the Range Rover Blues.
There’s a melancholy to all forms of flight, and the view out the Chopper is as hazy as it gets: mission-oriented, both stealth and self-realized. This album is decidedly (yet almost secretly) anti-patio-sunscreen-Beach Boys bachelor cruise sing-a-long. Sure, these songs let a little light through the blinds, but they sting insomnia, corrupt mayors, Kennedy Curses, sex tapes, and deer rifles. Chopper is the bird’s eye view of the big event - a real nighttime character of oil stain, film grain, search light, night flight. It is muscular and fragile; loud yet quiet: both an observer and somehow the observed spectacle itself.
What was slack in the slacker phase, got tauter, with lacquer glaze. Slick gloss, rightened wrongs; murdered boss, promoted pawns. With Boeckner transmitting high-voltage shocks upon every reach for a familiar instrument, Kiwi Jr. expands the palette with string machine song, synthesizered oblong, and Dentyne Classic Menthol vocals from area soprano Dorothea Paas (US Girls, Badge Epoch Ensemble) like the missing piece all along.
Kiwi Jr. brings the Chopper to a new space, demilitarizing the technology just like flasks, aviators, and cargo shorts. Graceful in the air above, but when the Chopper lands, there’s chaos on the ground. Kiwi Jr. shout, “Look Out!” When it gets close, it’ll blow the hat right off of your head.
Hold onto your hats, Babies.
KIWI JR. is Jeremy Gaudet vocals and guitar, Brian Murphy guitar, Mike Walker bass, Brohan Moore drums, and everybody played a little bit of keyboard.
On August 12th, 2022, KIWI JR. will release Chopper, the group’s third album, worldwide on CD/LP/CS/DSPs through Sub Pop, with the exception of Canada through the band’s Kiwi Club imprint. The album, which features the lead single “Night Vision” along with highlights “Unspeakable Things,” “The Sound of Music” and “The Extra Sees the Film,” was recorded and produced in Toronto by Sub Pop labelmate Dan Boeckner (Wolf Parade, Handsome Furs, Operators).
The “Night Vision” video was helmed by returning director Laura-Lynn Petrick (Kiwi Jr.’s “Waiting In Line,” also directed videos by Weyes Blood and Jessica Pratt).
Singer/guitarist Jeremy Gaudet offers this, “Before ‘Night Vision’ was 100% written, just the basic idea of it existing as a Kiwi Jr. song inspired us and set the tone for the record. A lot of the images in the lyrics are of teenagers driving around, trying to make plans, sharing the aux, putting their parents’ car in the ditch, etc. But the idea at the center of the song is that of working up the nerve to make a big decision. Like a boxer getting pumped up before a fight.”
Chopper is available for preorder from Sub Pop. LP preorders from megamart.subpop.com, select independent retailers in North America will receive the limited Loser edition on crystal clear vinyl (while supplies last). Meanwhile, preorders through select independent retailers in the UK and EU will receive the limited Loser edition on clear vinyl (while supplies last).
Kiwi Jr.’s tour schedule for 2022 in support of Chopper currently spans Saturday, May 28th in Hamilton, Ontario at Mills Hardware and runs through Sunday, September 25th in Amsterdam, Netherlands at Paradiso. Sub Pop labelmates Weird Nightmare will also co-headline Kiwi Jr.’s North American shows (May 28th-July 31st, select dates). Additional live dates to be announced soon.
Sat. May 28 - Hamilton, ON - Mills Hardware *
Fri. Jun. 17 - Detroit, MI - Third Man Records *
Sat. Jun. 18 - Chicago, IL - Schubas *
Sat. Jun. 25 - Toronto, ON - Horseshoe Tavern
Fri. Jul. 22 - Montreal, QC - Bar le Ritz PDB *
Sat. Jul. 23 - Ottawa, ON - SAW Gallery *
Thu. Jul. 28 - Brooklyn, NY - Baby’s All Right *
Fri. Jul. 29 - Rehoboth Beach, DE - Dogfish Head Brewing *
Sat. Jul. 30 - Washington, DC - Songbird Music House *
Sun. Jul. 31 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s *
Fri. Sep. 16 - Paris, France - La Boule Noire
Sun. Sep. 18 - Lille, France - L’ Aeronef
Mon. Sep. 19 - London, England - Victoria Dalston [SOLD OUT]
Tue. Sep. 20 - London, England - 100 Club
Wed. Sep. 21 - Brussels, Belgium - Witloofbar Botanique
Thu. Sep. 22 - Nijmegen, Netherlands - Merleyn
Sat. Sep. 24 - Eindhoven, Netherlands - Stoomhuisje
Sun. Sep. 25 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Paradiso
* w/ Weird Nightmare
What people said about Kiwi Jr.’s 2021 release, Cooler Returns:
“Sustaining momentum near-flawlessly across 13 songs… Kiwi Jr. have the skills to match their smarts.” ★★★★ 4 stars - MOJO
“Sardonic storytelling and mocking asides…an impatient, slacker-rock imagining of a folk album....some chords ring out with George Harrison glossiness while others are as shaggy and impetuous as The Clean —rarely do hi-fi and lo-fi splendors coexist so harmoniously.” - Pitchfork
“Cooler Returns is all hits, a baker’s dozen of ridiculously catchy three-minute pop nuggets that deliver massive sing-along-choruses.” - Brooklyn Vegan
“Canadian absurdists’ return is a lyrical delight” - Uncut
“This one may have been released in literally the very first week of 2021, but it never strayed far from rotation. A truly jubilant sound echoing The Clean and Orange Juice but with the punch of contemporary indie, and wry and winking vocals that remind what the ‘90s had to offer underground.” [2021 Year In Review] - Aquarium Drunkard
“Kiwi Jr. take the jangliest of guitars and dribble enigmatic observations all over them. Light-hearted and exhilarating enough to make you stop caring and too catchy for its own good.” [15 Best Indie Pop Records of 2021] - PopMatters
“Kiwi Jr. hypnotize with their sophomore record. There is incredible efficiency in the brief slices of the Toronto foursome’s peppy pop songcraft–more than half clock in under three minutes–with enticing hooks and odd references.”[40 Best Albums of 2021] - Rock & Roll Globe
“Kiwi Jr’s world is the perfect anecdote to the real world in 2020/21.” [2021 Albums of The Year]- Louder Than War
“L’année 2021 ne pouvait mieux commencer qu’avec cet excellent disque a l’entrain communicatif, d’une inspiration jubilatoire, veritable rayon de soleil au cour de l’hiver” [4/5] - Rock & Folk
“Les quatre musiciens de Toronto ne changent pas leur formule gagnante et livrent une guitare jangly élégante et efficace.” - Les Inrocks
“Ook de referenties zijn dik in orde: the Chills, The Strokes, The Kinks… en de vroege R.E.M. ‘Fonkelende gitaarplaat die refereert aan heden en verleden.”, Best Albums of the Month - Oor
1. Unspeakable Things
2. Parasite II
3. Clerical Sleep
4. Night Vision
5. The Extra Sees the Film
6. Contract Killers
7. The Sound of Music
8. Downtown Area Blues
9. Kennedy Curse
10. The Masked Singer