Japes Signs to Sunreturn, Releasing Debut Single ‘Doom’

  • Japes Signs to Sunreturn, Releasing Debut Single ‘Doom’
Japes Signs to Sunreturn, Releasing Debut Single ‘Doom’

Japes Signs to Sunreturn, Releasing Debut Single ‘Doom’

Japes is the project of Mia Kelly (she/they), a musician, producer, DJ and broadcaster based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington). Today, Mia releases ‘Doom‘.

Japes showcases a piece-meal approach to genre, juxtaposing treated guitars, sonic art and deep bass to concoct a thoughtful heady blend. Since releasing their debut EP Junk, Japes has made sparse appearances on local compilations (Strange Behaviour, Works for Loudspeakers) while developing into a live favourite in the capital, supporting Nabihah Iqbal (Ninja Tune) as well as performing at Cuba Dupa and Newtown Festival.

Now signed to Sunreturn, Japes releases the new single ‘Doom‘, along with a visualizer animated by Otis Rayner. To celebrate, Japes will perform Newtown Community Center on March 30, tickets are available now from Undertheradar.co.nz.

Doom‘ opens with bubbled synthesizer & stuttered drums, before the heel turn of harsh noise underpinned by deep rhythmic bass and Kelly’s repeated refrain of “fall into the pile with the rest of us.”

“’Doom‘ is really about the feeling that nothing matters,” says Kelly. “The realisation that we are just tiny cogs in a terrible machine, it’s a common feeling to come to in your early 20’s. You find out the world is a darker place than you could have ever imagined, having had the naivety of childhood stripped away and being faced with the pressure of having to have direction in your life.”

“The first demo (that would become ‘Doom‘) came to be while Aotearoa was in the second lockdown in 2021, which was a really fair enough time to be having an existential crisis. It was particularly turbulent for me and found a lot of peace in writing music that was more dark and distorted. I’ve always been inspired by science fiction, the possibilities of the other and the wildly different ways our world could be structured, and I think a bit of this leaked into the song.”

Doom was co-produced by Bevan Smith (Introverted Dancefloor, Glass Vaults), with the collaboration aided by NZ on Air Music’s New Music Development fund. “I brought Bevan a raw demo of a bunch of ideas and bit by bit we pieced it together, with Bevan adding the drums and big guitar bits at the end. We kept a lot of the really raw weird sounds and added lots of distortion. It was the first song we finished, and from that I drew so much inspiration for writing the rest of the EP.”

Doom is accompanied by an animated visualiser made by Otis Rayner. “I wanted the visuals to be a little bit silly,” says Kelly. “The song isn’t meant to be taken completely seriously, but still deals with the themes of existentialism. People often describe difficult feelings (specifically depression) as “the black dog” and I find it a good way to think about things, so I wanted to have that in there as well. It’s all hand-drawn loop animations that took him hours and hours to complete.”

Check out all things Japes below:

Photo credit: James France