Kuinka’s genre-defying music features several different lead singers, four-part harmony, and core elements of rock (lead guitar, synth, drums) flavored with eclectic folk instrumentation (cello, banjo, ukulele) and a driving dance beat. But through all of their sonic experimentation, the Seattle quintet’s songs and live shows are linked by an infectious energy that remains present in everything they do.
On their first self-mixed and recorded EP “Landlines,” Kuinka throws it back to the analog days of VHS and corded telephones. A departure from the “joyous folk pop” (NPR Music) of 2017’s “Stay Up Late” EP, the band explores the angst and anxiety of the world today through a mix of 90s synth and contemporary pop sensibility.
Written in the dead of winter holed up on the San Juan Islands, Kuinka’s four core members, Miranda Zickler, Nathan Hamer, Zach Hamer and Jillian Walker, drew inspiration from the house where they set up camp, a relic of decades past. Each track is an ode to various in-between states of mind, a familiar feeling to those who witnessed the rapid change brought on by the digital revolution.
On their new EP All of the Greats, Seattle, WA psych-pop acolytes General Mojo’s manage to cram a vision-quests’ worth of soaring vocal harmonies, multicolored oil-drip synth lines, and shimmering fuzz-guitar wash into a concise – and incredibly compelling – journey. Reach out and take their hands, and they’ll lead you into a world where everything is just a little more colorful (and quite a lot groovier.)
In 2012 Dune Butler had a vision; craft a sound that was psychedelic yet deeply melodic, firmly grounded in pop with its head floating well above the clouds. Recruiting guitarist David Salonen, drummer Sam Veatch, keyboardist Eric Vanderbilt-Mathews, and vocalist Tekla Waterfield into the fold, they set out as General Mojo’s Key Project.
It soon became clear that their sonic vision demanded a full-time co-lead vocalist. Kate Copeland filled that role. The success of their first tour – in support of eponymously titled General Mojo’s Key Project -cemented the foundation of what would evolve into their signature tone. That sound continued to bloom on their follow up release, How Hollow a Heart. Not long after the record was tracked, Copeland returned to her home city of New York, NY to pursue a solo career, and the band elected to drop “Key Project” from their title. Prominent Seattle artist Heather Thomas sashayed into the co-vocalist role, and brought her percussion gear along for the ride.
Written around the Pacific Northwest, All of the Greats was tracked at Electrokitty in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood. It was produced by General Mojo’s, recorded by Garrett Reynolds, and mastered by Levi Seitz of Blackbelt Mastering. While the record broadly deals with the transient nature of existence, the title track in particular resonates (so much so that it’s the focus of the bands breathtaking, deeply inspiring video). “There’s a beautiful book called Desert by graphic novelist Travis Rommeriem that inspired us” says Thomas. “It addresses mortality and other planes of existence in a way that felt like a psychedelic trip. It was a way of coping with the loss of some very important people, and recognizing “all of the greats have gone to space”. You have your time to do what you are going to do and then you’re going to leave behind whatever you created.”
In the last few months the band has released their new EP and numerous music videos, including a live video collaboration with guitarist Andy Coe and organist Delvon Lamarr.