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Arts and Crafts: 'Koko et Kiki'

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A collage of four images of two men and one woman standing against a wall outside.
From left to right: Noam Teyssier, Nadia Aquil and Jeff Klein.

The Sunday Music Drop is a weekly radio series hosted by the KQED weekend news team. In each segment, we feature a song from a local musician or band with an upcoming show and hear about what inspires their music.

San Francisco’s Arts and Crafts is a three-piece rock band with influences from jazz, psychedelic rock, world music, Arabic music, Latin music, and math rock. The band likes to play around with odd time signatures and musical modes.

The band members (guitarist Noam Teyssier, bassist Nadia Aquil, and drummer Jeff Klein) originally met through the internet on Craigslist and Tinder and were part of a four-piece project with a vocalist. Soon, they realized they enjoyed writing and recording music as a three-piece group more and started making their first EP.

“Koko et Kiki” is the first song from the album Petrolia and was recorded in a haunted house they rented in Petrolia, California. The song title is the names of their hosts, Koko and Kiki, two women who greeted them when they arrived at the house. It has a fun vibe and features sounds from their first show and the woods outside of the house.

“When I listen to the song, I’m definitely transported back to that recording process and having a week to really indulge creatively,” Klein said. “When you have songs with no words, there’s no obvious choice typically for what to call the song unless it’s some direct reference to like the music. But we can’t call it like, ‘the fast one,’ or you could, but it almost becomes like a blank canvas for a fun little creative exercise [to] just put some words together that sort of prime the mind for what they’re going to hear.”


Klein says the band’s name is a reference to the arts and crafts term that came from a political movement in the 1890s in the UK. William Morris was an English textile designer, artist, writer and socialist activist associated with the British Arts and Crafts movement.

“This was sort of a response to the industrial revolution at the time, which really disrupted a lot of craftspeople’s business who had spent centuries developing crafts and all these things that began becoming mass produced,” he said. “People felt that the mass production element cheapened the craft and that, this type of thing was dying and it’s not good and that we should appreciate it for the sake of aesthetics and uniqueness and prioritize accordingly, which [Morris] felt could be achieved by socializing elements of society.”

Arts and Crafts can be found on Instagram: @artsandcrafts_band. They’re working on an album that will be releasing later this year, but you can see them perform at Santo Recording studio in Oakland on June 7. They’ll also be performing as part of the Bay Beats series for the San Francisco Public Library in August.

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