For 26 years, the Japanese-born musician Kazu Makino has led the great New York trio Blonde Redhead. That band has been through sonic evolution after sonic evolution, but they’ve always walked the line between glamorous and avant-garde, and they’ve always seemed like the coolest people in the world. Barragán, the last Blonde Redhead album, is now five years old. And today, Makino has announced that she’ll release her first-ever solo album Adult Baby under the name KAZU. Adult Baby is coming later this year, and Makino is also launching a new label that’s also called Adult Baby.
We don’t know all the details on the album yet, but Makino has shared the video for first single “Salty.” The song features an all-star crew of collaborators: Japanese new-age god Ryuichi Sakamoto, Atoms For Peace percussionist Mauro Refosco, Son Lux drummer Ian Chang. There’s no guitar-clangor to the song; it’s a relatively simple synth-and-drums pulse with Makino’s gorgeously oblique vocals sailing overtop. But the song, like so many Blonde Redhead songs, still conjures its own atmosphere and makes you feel like you’re in a completely different place.
That place might be Italy’s Elba Island. These days, Makino lives in both New York and on Elba, and Elba is where she filmed the “Salty” video with director Paride Ambrogi. The video works as a gorgeous meditation on water and trees, and even though nothing really happens, it’s a rapturous vision of a thing. Fair warning: It might make you want to drop everything in your life and move to Elba Island. If you can handle that internal turmoil, you can watch the video below.
Of Adult Baby, Makino says:
The title came to me when an old friend told me about the existence of so-called “adult baby club,” frequented by powerful men who go there to be treated like small children. This discovery struck me, perhaps because I am convinced that in a way, we are all adult babies, that many people feel that way inside and that they identify with this expression. Each in his own way: Adult Baby is a title that can be taken in many ways; some will think it curious, others erotic, others still strange or tender: it all depends on how you see it.
There’s no release date for Adult Baby yet.