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 comprising 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 and 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.
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