Tree Climbers is the 7th single from Japanese pop singer Kimura Kaela (木村 カエラ) and was released on September 6, 2006. The single went on to reach #6 on the Japan Oricon singles chart.
The single includes the obvious title song Tree Climbers, off of the Scratch album, and the B-side Wani to Kotori (ワニと小鳥 An alligator and a little bird), which can also be found on the same album. Tree Climbers is an uptempo rock song characterised by crunchy guitars, a distorted bass riff, raw drums, and full-throttle female vocals. The lyrics, mostly in Japanese, describe daily issues that could arise in anyone’s life. Nothing dramatic, but depicted with emotional metaphors that are strong enough to make the listener stop and think.
The B-side WANI to Kotori (ワニと小鳥 An alligator and a little bird) is an extreme melodramatic J-pop song that recounts the story of the metaphorical alligator, who sees and eats the beautiful little bird only to regret it to the utmost. “The tears just wouldn’t stop. I’m awful and I ate you. There was nothing not to like about you, but now I won’t ever be able to see you again… I’m a coward, I’m keeping myself alive with the intent of tormenting myself for my action.” Simply strong lyrics. And the 8-bit-like music truly reminds me of a colourful fantasy landscape, where the coward alligator fools and eats the little bird just to torment itself for the rest of its days. A real masterpiece in all regards.
These two songs are amongst my favourite J-rock/J-pop songs. Kaela with Shinobu Watanabe and Acchu Iwata did a great job in writing and composing such strong tunes that speak to their listeners through their musical emotions. Even if you don’t speak Japanese, this single is worth giving a spin.