I got an email from Nikki in Terror Bird a while back about their release slated to come out this month through Atelier Ciseaux and La Station Radar. Nikki actually sent me one of the tracks for 7Inches to preview and gave permission to post it here.
Now normally I'm against this kind of giving-the-milk-away-for-free kind of preview but the single actually ended up being a massive 4 track EP, so really, it's just enough to get on over to paypal...even though it is going to be an import...check if Fusetron or Midheaven's going to end up getting this...but there's only 300, and I didn't see that U.S. Girls release ending up over here anywhere....yet.
Terror Bird is just Nikki and her husband Jeremiah, like Handsome Furs (also from Canada!?), this is a duo rarity, but one that really has the potential to work amazingly...to be able to tour like they are right now in Europe? Playing every night, putting out 7 inches? Writing songs all the time?
They are living the dream, people.
Speaking of U.S. Girls, this goes right along with the minimal electronics kind of no wave sound from her and Zola Jesus. In 'We Were Monsters', Nikki has an uncanny ability to zero in on those haunting chord changes that are catchy and a little sad at the same time. Her vocals are wavering a little bit, she's on the verge of breaking down maybe...I could hear an early Siouxsie in an echo chamber here. Her vocals are definitely the star, and the rest of the mix is perfect...mic'd tinny speakers, someone just bumped the stereo, I can practically feel the bedroom. I wouldn't mess with this voice too much...it's got just enough of a dark feel that isn't overdone. There's definitely pop elements...like that party for the depressed gang...they want to rock, but just a little bit, let's not get carried away.
She's got a lot of Megan Remy's kind of soul filled vocals, she really could take this voice anywhere...maybe that's why this and US Girls works so well is that contradiction in the minimal string synth sounds that aren't trying to be anything but a casio and her vocals that are coming out of some almost religious place. Even singing against nearly nothing, like on 'Shadows in the halls', she creates these layered melodies out of nowhere. There's no cues to except the 808 claps and kick and a chime to lead this along. I have to give Jeremiah some credit here and stop going on about her vocals already...it's even a more minimal choice to keep the effects on these sounds to a minimum, he's not trying to bury the cheap sounds under anything, they are terrible and he's determined to actually take them seriously. It's a lot of work to be sure.
The whole thing rounds out with a Twin Crystals cover 'Lament', and it's really some kind of alchemy to have one super basic synth sound and delayed reverb vocals come together like this, it's stripped bare and vulnerable.
It's a great creepy catchy introduction to these guys who I hope can make it down to NYC sometime...
Terror Bird says:
We are Nikki Never and Jeremiah Haywood. We live in Vancouver, BC
The track, We Were Monsters is from our upcoming 7" being put out by La Station Radar and Les Atelier Ciseaux based in France and Montreal.
Nikki Never's heros are no other than Morrissey, David Bowie and Marc Bolan.
This is available direct from Atelier Ciseaux, and La Station Radar who also add:
skulls on a silk shirt. Dark dark dark. Again. A little hope crossed out with a tipp-ex on a denim jacket. Keyboard worn out by the 80s, pop romance, the future combined with the past, Gloomy dances for phantom mirrors. Terror Bird is still Nikki Never. Sometimes, Jeremiah Haywood too. Vancouver behind rainbow-coloured sunglasses. A forthcoming album on Night People / Adagio 830 and above all a 7″, ‘Shadows in the halls’, on La station radar and Atelier ciseaux. Atelier ciseaux and la Station Radar. Atelier radar, Station ciseaux. A collaboration between two labels. The beginning of a friendship, something like that. Good.