When Jennifer Pearl returned home from studying science in French Polynesia, armed with field recordings of street musicians, church choirs, and roosters, VUM wrote their first full-length album, Night Sun. Duo Jennifer Pearl and Chris Badger wrote, rehearsed and recorded Night Sun and their subsequent 7” single, Laura Palmer/Are You Animal?, in their Topanga Canyon studio apartment – the same four walls where Neil Young recorded After The Goldrush. Night Sun debuted on Henry Rollins’ KCRW radio show beginning a long-term musical exchange with the DJ and his “fanatics.”
Described as “noirishly psychedelic” by W Magazine, VUM is more of an invasive species in the ancestral home of the Oak Grove People -a place known more for country rock and peyote chewing hippies than post-punk and coldwave inspired sounds. Equal parts California psych flourishes and minimalist rhythms, VUM continues to write and record in their small, Canyon cabin crisscrossed with crooked shadows cast down by the cathedral ceiling of the coastal oaks, trying to make something real. Something with teeth.
2013-2014 brought the release of their 2nd album, Psychotropic Jukebox and European tour. Psychotropic Jukebox was named "Top Albums of 2013 According to Henry Rollins" in Consequence of Sound.
VUM’s 3rd album, Cryptocrystalline, is named after the natural phenomena which occurs when an orderly, molecular structure exists in rocks, but is not immediately apparent to the naked eye. In this age of protests, revolutions, and international warfare, remotely sensed images of crowds that appear as one, disorderly mass have become commonplace. However, each crowd consists of order in the physical presence, intent, and dreams of each individual. Surveillance, war, possession and dashed California dreams all serve as inspiration for this album.
VUM single and video premiere "New Girls," out 2/12/16 via Impose.
VUM is featured in the summer 2016 issue of L.A. Record print magazine.
Kissing Cousins is an all girl band from Los Angeles, California. As the main creative outlet for songwriter Heather Bray Heywood, Kissing Cousins has had a variety of female musicians comprise the lineup. Most of whom were friends prior to joining the band as part of the greater East Side Los Angeles music scene. Heywood's songwriting is stark, baroque, and often sexually charged. With haunting melodies over noisy guitars and pounding rhythms, Kissing Cousins' music belies the sweet appearance of their name and image.
While the last record, Pillar Of Salt, produced by Richard Swift, took a decidedly lo-fi approach, the new EP / double 7 inch Unfortunate End is heavier, darker, and meaner. Produced By S Foye, the music utilizes more experimental instrumentation like Autoharp strummed through delay pedals and drum machines played manually through distorted amps. There is still plenty of reverb soaked vocals, vicious guitar tones, and stomping drums, but for the first time, the songs twist and turn within time signatures and tempos.
Lyrically, the songs explore the unfortunate ends of 4 different female protagonists. Heywood, who grew up in rural Alabama the daughter of southern ministers, drew heavily from personal experience to create stories reminiscent of the classic southern gothic literary cannon of Faulkner and O'Conner. But where they had only words, Heywood's music is just as responsible for telling these stories. With Unfortunate End Heywood and Kissing Cousins continue in a long tradition of redefining what it is to be in a "girl band" and what it is to sound feminine, southern, and ultimately, unique.
Their video, which stars Eric Stoltz (yes, that Eric Stoltz) is HERE.
Kevin Rutmanis- cows, teenage larvae, gaswar, melvins, tomahawk, Hepa/Titus
Sterling Riley- likes to go to the desert to let things cool off, Heap of Titans, Hepa/Titus
Dana Young- c.a.n.s., testicular homicide, psyche meds, aerial pink, zeppelin
David Sender - union 13