Tag Archives: Shangri-Las

It’s Okay to Kiss Your Cousin

Click to enlarge

MP3: Kissing Cousins – “You Bring Me Down”

When your music is described as a cross between the Shangri-Las and Black Sabbath, chances are you’ve struck upon a pretty interesting sound. But there’s much more to Kissing Cousins than those two bands. Hailing from Los Angeles, the all-girl group concocts churning mixtures of pitch-black atmosphere and driving rhythms that draw upon an array of musical, literary, and cinematic influences.

Sonically, the four-piece sounds like PJ Harvey on a cranky day, complete with surging factory beats and half-sung, half-spoken words that often maketh murder. Their lyrics are influenced by Southern Gothic writers like William Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor, both of whom heavily influenced frontwoman Bray Heywood during her childhood in Alabama.

There’s even some David Lynch (see the bible-spouting, Eric Stoltz-starring video for “Don’t Look Back,” off the band’s debut album, Pillar of Salt) and Cinemax-style exploitation (as in the new video for “You Bring Me Down,” which finds the girls being sent to prison and generally kicking the crap out of each other) thrown into the mix. Continue reading…

Poetic Memory: Emily Long (List)

MP3: Emily Long – “Dirty Face”

If it were 1995, Emily Long would be huge.

That’s not a backhanded compliment, either. Listening to the Tucson native’s second album, Dirty Face, transports you to a time when flannel was worn un-ironically, the Empire Records soundtrack was wearing out your CD player, and MTV played videos instead of bottom-feeding reality show tripe.

From the opening moments of Dirty Face, you can hear the influence of bands like Veruca Salt and Letters to Cleo in the forceful but delicate vocals, fuzzed out guitars, and flogged drums. Long’s voice may conjure women like Nina Gordon, Louise Post, and Kay Hanley, but there’s also a bit of Tegan and Sara in the way she projects ripples of vulnerability into her rock-star belting.

It’s a compelling combination, and repeat listens makes Long’s music even more rewarding. The ass-kicking musician was kind enough to share some of the things that make her tick, which you can find below, along with a behind-the-scenes video on the making of Dirty Face. Continue reading…

The Langley Sisters Make Sweet Honey

The Langley Sisters are three lovely ladies from London who specialize in Prohibition-era pop.

Gita, Rosie, and Edie — with a little help from Mr. Ed Harcourt — just released Queen Bee, a sweet seven-inch single that features the singing sisters and a variety of instruments, including guitar, cello, violin, and even the mystical banjolele.

They cite the Shangri-Las and Shirelles as influences, and after a listen, it’s easy to see the connection. However, Queen Bee is also a unique work that warrants repeated listens. As the precursor to their first full-length, it’s also a nice taste of what’s to come. Queen Bee is a limited edition white vinyl 7″ (only 400 copies pressed, each record is number stamped). Each one also contains a download code.

You can pick it up over at Velvet Blue Music‘s website or stream it here. Highly recommended.