Klezmer funk meets circus Chic. At least, that’s how we would describe the music of Charan Po Rantan in 5 words or less. The band of sisters, Koharu and Momo, have been rocking out since 2009 but their history dates back to a when elder sister Koharu went to see a circus at age 7. Impressed and astounded by the accordion player, she immediately ask for one too and has never looked back.
The duo’s unique sound and style, which blends the festive music of Ashkenazi Jews with theatrical atmospherics of a circus, are somewhat of a rarity on Japan, to say the least. And it’s become a source of attention both at home and abroad. They count Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey as fans, which has actually helped legitimize their unconventional antics in Japan.
They made their U.S. debut in 2013 at SXSW and then returned in 2015 to make their NY debut at Japan Society where they performed a crowd-pleasing rendition of the Super Mario Bros. theme song. In 2014 they surprised their fans by signing with Avex, Japan’s biggest recording label. But that hasn’t diminished their sound or style. Their 2nd major album, “Onna no yonju-ropun” (A girl’s 46 minutes) is as eclectic and enjoyable as anything they’ve made, packed into a dense – you guessed it – 46 minutes. Oh and their outfits? They design them, themsleves and then pass the sketches along to mom and grandma, who bring them to life!
One of our favorite tracks on the new album is “I can’t be Tailor,” a reference to Tailor Swift that even rifts on the pop-artist’s hit track “Shake it off.” (Here’s an English translation of the lyrics)