The surface appearance of Lolahiko — a new pop duo from the city that brought us goths sipping lattes in Lululemon, Los Angeles — is carefully curated gloom. Like a wasted bouquet of wilted flowers being photographed in an elaborate studio setting with obscenely expensive photography equipment, the synth pop of Lauren Marie and Ike Kawaguchi makes lines like “near our old favorite dirty bar, that we always used to meet at… I hate your guts” seem like the tagline for a corpse-scented luxury perfume from some dystopian, trend-setting, high-fashion brand. Beneath the surface, the duo remain bleak. They announce their emergence onto the scene by decreeing the week a “dark” one, although it’s possible that this could be the result of another, more esoteric annual darkening process.
Does the monochromatic aesthetic accentuate or mask the group’s “filthy souls”? Marie (the Lola half) seems to wage heavy inner war over The Year We Died But Stayed Alive’s six tracks. She hates, she can’t hate, but she wants to; she’s a murderer, you’re a murderer. Life is complicated like that. By the time Lolahiko’s debut release reaches a high point on “Plastic,” you can probably guess this plastic is not the benevolent kind that you can trust with a lifetime guarantee®; it’s the plastic that’s fucking up the lives of those poor, radical sea turtles. It’s 2016, the official worst year ever, and if you’re looking for something to listen to while you brood, TMT’s got you.
Stream Lolahiko’s debut EP below. It’s out November 11 on iTunes, coinciding with a show at L.A.’s Black.