Fronted by the electrifying Nina Ljeti, Los Angeles-based Kills Birds‘ live-wire stage presence and unsettling, yet “hot as fuck” 2019 self-titled debut – a confrontational record flowing with deep-rooted anxiety – caught the attention of Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon and Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl. Impressed, Kills Birds were invited by the Nirvana sticksman to record their sophomore album, Married, at Studio 606 – due to be released in November. And, having been recommended to us twice in the last couple of weeks by both Sleigh Bells’ Alexis Krauss and Toronto’s Bad Waitress, we felt it was about time we check out what all the fuss is about… It turns out it is 100% well-deserved.
‘Rabbit‘ is the resulting opening track and lead single from the upcoming record; a brutal song concerning an abusive relationship and how power dynamics can eviscerate self-worth. Accompanied by guitarist Jacob Loeb and bassist Fielder Thomas, Ljeti deals with the emotional consequences through cathartic distortion; her ferocious vocals piercing through trashing percussion, scuzzy riffs and pounding bass-lines.
Through propulsive rhythm, ‘Rabbit’ hooks you in with its intensity and disorienting quiet/loud dynamic, Ljeti startling the listener as she screams “How could I?” with raw emotion. Loeb remarks that despite ‘Rabbit’ being “one of the harder-hitting songs on the record, it was originally written on an acoustic guitar at Nina’s house.” Upon plugging in, the track became something else… Something more visceral.
Oozing justified angst, Kill Birds’ ‘Rabbit’ is an infectious combination of aggressive grunge melodies and anthemic vitriol; Nina Ljeti admirably screaming from the heart to share a moment of vulnerability from her own life. Of the track, she poignantly explains: “There’s nowhere to turn for help. Like many people who share this experience, this particular relationship defined the majority of my young adulthood, and I’m still dealing with the emotional consequences of it.”
Married, the upcoming album from Kills Birds, is set for release 12th November via Royal Mountain Records and KRO Records.
Photo Credit: Cheryl Georgette