The martial arts generally get short shrift in pop music. Of course there was Kung Fu Fighting, a number 1 hit single in the UK for Carl Douglas back in the 70’s as well as The Beatles Hey Judo (chortle, sorry it’s the best we could do) but other than that we’re struggling to think of any black-belt combat related tunes or groups. That is until today, as we introduce Sweden’s I Am Karate. The Stockholm based duo have been picking up a small amount of blog coverage over the last few days due to their bewilderingly good Rae Morris channelling song Bloom, which mixes piano keys, soft electronic hues and beats to create something you might just go a bit head over heels for. However, don’t immediately pigeon hole Erika Soldh Ahlström and Marta Pettersson, who are I Am Karate, as just Morris copyists; because their debut EP has more diversity than that, displaying different aspects of their contemporary pop sound. There's vast pop-noir in the form of Moment and another track Starts With A Hit sounds like if it was given to Rihanna and beefed up with some glossy studio production would be exactly what it says in the title.
Alongside their music I Am Karate are presenting themselves in a way that at first might seem a bit odd especially if you’re one of the boring ‘real music’ gang who doesn't get the concept that pop is as much about visual representation as it is the songs. For here we find I Am Karate having a dip in the swimming pool. But those of you well versed in everything aquatic will know that there’s been a long history of pop stars taking the plunge, whether it is in the bath (see here) or in the swimming pool (see here). We can only guess that with all these sporting references, I Am Karate are not only providing good musical health for the ears, but reminding us to keep the rest of our bodies in check as well.
I Am Karate - Bloom