Kissing Cousins is an all-female band from Los Angeles, or Silver Lake if you want to be specific. Consisting of Heather B Heywood (vocals, guitars), Karo Haro (keys, flute), Melissa Pleckham (bass), Beth Zeigler (drums), and Alexis Woodall (percussion,keys), they formed in late 2005. Kissing Cousins has released 4 consecutive short players : EP1, EP2, EP3, and 'She's Right.' 'Pillar of Salt' is the band's debut full length!
These 10 tracks were recorded at The Sons of National Freedom studio in Portland, OR, with Richard Swift at the helm as producer. In the age of everyone recording straight into a computer, Swift recorded old school, straight to 2" tape ! Swift has stated that "the feel for the songs would be something like the Shangri-Las meets Black Sabbath."
The band’s music is largely influenced by Heywood’s complications growing up in the home of her step-dad, a southern Pentecostal preacher in Alabama. The congregation was predominantly poor and black and Heywood was imprinted with the musical aesthetics of desperation and sorrow. Heywood was influenced by soulful and woeful music in addition to witnessing some most confusing situations like exorcisms, speaking in tongues, and parishioners being “slain in the spirit.” Heywood was tormented as she grew older and realized her normal life wasn’t so normal and that there were a myriad of ways to understand life. This wounded spirituality was her muse as she crafted the Cousin's songs. Tracks like "First in the Fire" and "Snake Handler" are prime examples of this. 'Pillar of Salt' is both a haunting and hopeful exploration of music.
Kissing Cousins’ MO is the duality of their femininity. They tout big brutal guitars, sepulchral chord progressions, and hollow drums. This masculinity is countered by Haro’s flute melodies and Heywood’s smoky sensual and funereal alto voice. Not only is this duality true in their music but with the girls as well. They can pass around a liter of Jim Beam with the boys and display a strong confidence akin to Bjork or PJ Harvey yet the Cousins can be giggly, flirty shoe-mongers like Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda. The combination of their dirge-like rock hymns, bracing guitars, and new-era femininity gives Kissing Cousins a unique foothold in music.
After the well received EPs, shows and festival appearances, and a recent song in the show Nip/Tuck, the Cousins are sure to make some well deserved waves with their newest effort. We hope you join their club.