L.A.-based Kissing Cousins, an “all female sepulchral counter-pop” band led by Heather Bray Heywood, began with a few modest EPs. Since then, they’ve had a song featured on Nip/Tuck and recorded a full-length album, Pillar of Salt. Kissing Cousins recorded Pillar live to tapeâ€”a rarity in today’s mostly digital landscapeâ€”with the help of Richard Swift. The band used Wilco’s old TASCAM 8-track to record the album, bestowing a second life upon the piece of equipment that has produced some of Wilco’s greatest songs. Kissing Cousins definitely do the machine justice.
Music videos for Pillar are in the works, and the vinyl will be released in July (see tour dates below). For samples, check out “In Too Deep” from Pillar, as well as “Deathhouse“, Heywood’s personal favorite song from the album.
After the jump: 10 bands that influenced Heywood’s songwriting “in some shape or form.”
1. The Mandrell Sisters: My favorite girls to mimic when I was a young budding musician.
2. PJ Harvey: I admire how her emotion and a sense of performance is evident in her records, not just live performance.
3. The Beatles: I can’t get enough of harmonies, hooks, and percussion.
4. Starflyer 59: Reverb distortion and how I was introduced to Jeff Cloud.
5. The White Stripes: I love the drunken guitar licks and floor tom abuse.
6. Jimi Hendrix: Fuzz bass!
7. Heart: “Dreamboat Annie” is one of my favorite albums and started my wooden spoon sing-alongs, which eventually somehow led to songwriting.
8. Portishead: The haunting, dark melodies.
9. Nirvana: Angst and teenie-bopper storytelling.
10. Led Zeppelin: Recording live.
Aug 30, 2009 – Origami Vinyl – Echo Park/Los Angeles (vinyl release show)
Sep 9, 2009 – The Martini Ranch w/ Dear and the Headlights – Scottsdale, AZ
Sep 15, 2009 – Starline – Fresno, California
Oct 7, 2009 – Silverlake Lounge w/ Hot Toddies and Foxes – Los Angeles