If you like catchy lyrics sung by heavenly vocals, synth backups, distorted guitars, and hard hitting drum beats with a garage/grunge twist, then Kino Kimino is for you!
Comprised of Jordyn Blakely (drums), Cindy Gooden (bass), Tarra Thiessen (guitar), and Kim Talon (guitar/vocals)—this group ain’t no music rookies! Not only do they kill it in Kino Kimino, they also all have other music projects that keep their ears sharp and their musical tastes impeccable
Before we get into the magnificence that is Kino Kimino, it’s only fair to shout out real quick to its member’s other musical projects—I mean, they all must influence each other, am I right?
Blakely also plays drums in the dreamy, yet dark under-noted band, Jackal Onasis. Gooden plays in Very Fresh, a melodic band that keeps the beats catchy and has killer drum breaks. Lastly, Thiessen sings vocals and plays guitar for Ex-Girlfriends and Sharkmuffin, two badass garage bands that produce songs sure to get stuck in your head.
Including Talon’s previous band, Eagle & Talon, which takes a more dance approach to pop/ rock—all these guys’ separate music projects have their individual vibes, but also make sure to bring to the table some bad-to-the-bone tunes that get you going.
So, it’s only natural for something amazing to come out from all these finely tuned musicians.
In Kino Kimino the listener can really hear all sorts of influences—especially in the newest album “Bait Is For Sissies,” that came out June 3rd on Ghost Ramp. The album includes Steve Shelley on drums and Lee Ranaldo on guitar from the staple garage/punk band Sonic Youth. You can hear influences from Sonic Youth, other than Talon’s vocals that are somewhat similar to Kim Gordon, front woman for Sonic Youth—you can also hear Shelley’s and Ranaldo’s Sonic Youth-esque touches throughout the entire album.
Album Artwork courtesy of Kino Kimino.
Talon tells BTRtoday that working with those guys was a dream come true for her! “It was one of the best days ever in my life,” she admits. “Being in a room with them after a while I kind of felt like, ‘ok, we’re peers, we’re equal, I can do this! I got this!’ rather than being scared out of my mind.”
Stereogum refers to one of the album’s track “Passion” as a “weird, feisty angst” brand of shoegaze. However, the first time I heard “Passion” the word shoegaze was nowhere near my mind. In fact, it reminded me of a late ‘90s grunge band, infused with pop. Almost like a Sonic Youth or Hole version of Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t Get You Out of My Head,” which is quite the accomplishment (and an awesome one)!
Other tracks like “Loincloth” and “Blood Bath” give more of a hardcore punk vibe, with heavy bass-lines and sharp guitars, but with flirty vocals that sing about confusion and hard times.
In fact, Talon conveys that the album was mostly inspired by a confusing relationship she went through where she was mistaken about the partner’s sexual orientation. “The journey of being in that type of relationship and the path of what that looks like and then what it looks like afterwards,” she describes about the album’s influences. “In retrospect: ‘how could I have been so blind? How could I have been so stupid?’ All of those things.”
She adds that the album pertained to themes like isolation and self-exploration due to the fact that she had just moved on her own to NYC from L.A. “I didn’t know tons of people here and I had left a sort of comfortable cozy existence in Silverlake,” Talon explains. “I was kind of jumping into the cold water over here and seeing if I could float. ”
Kino Kimino is a fairly new project, having only been conceived this past spring after making the move to the east coast. At first Talon admits the move was difficult, as moves usually are, but now she is ecstatic to be here. “I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how warm and inviting it is,” she declares. “I’ve played so many shows here in Brooklyn where most of the bands playing that night are female, and that is amazing to me, I love that!”
Talon is originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba in Canada, which she explains as very cold and snowy for most of the months. She conveys that the music community there is very small, and though she grew up playing music within her family, she hasn’t experienced such a heavy surge of female musicians in a music scene and she absolutely loves that.
Growing up she went through many phases, but all seemed to pertain to music. She grew up listening to many different types of cultural music, including American country, Lithuanian music, and jazz. She admits at one point she was determined to be a jazz pianist.
Her first experience with playing in NYC was not with Kino Kimino, but with another one of her bands when they opened for Sia at the Bowery Ballroom. “That being one of the first ties I played in NY I’d have to say was pretty magical,” Talon expresses. “It’s kind of crazy when you’re just starting out as a band to be on a tour that that’s big playing for that many people—so that was definitely a fun intro to playing live shows in NYC.”
Planning into the future is not Talon’s forté, she admits, however they’re constantly playing around NYC and she hopes to record another record by next year and do a few little tours, perhaps even hitting up the West Coast.