Initially beginning as a secret musical project founding by Nina Ljeti, an award-winning, Los Angeles-based Bosnian-Canadian filmmaker and vocalist and guitar Jacob Loeb back in 2017, the Los Angeles-based punk act Kills Birds evolved into a full-fledged band with the addition of Fielder Thomas (bass) and Bosh Rothman (drums). The act quickly drew attention for jagged, post-punk-like guitar driven melodies, slow-burning dynamics, Ljeti’s urgent lyrics and an explosive live show, featuring Ljeti’s raw stage presence.
Interestingly, among the band’s earliest fans was KRO Records founder and producer Justin Raisen, who not only signed the Los Angeles-based quartet to his growing label roster, but also opted to produce their recently released self-titled full-length debut. Recorded nearly live over an intense, breakneck eight hour session, the band’s full-length debut reportedly captures the band’s feral, live energy while being driven by deeply personal songwriting. “The album is very personal,” Ljeti says. “As a whole, it has no concept, but each song is reflective of what I struggled with, and continue to struggle with. Feelings of insecurity, anxiety, inadequacy, and ultimately love. Love is the main driving force behind everything I create.”
“The instrumentation helps clarify those feelings,” Ljeti continues in press. “When Jacob and I write, Jacob is able to understand what I’m feeling, and he uses the instrumentation to elevate the piece to a whole new level. He honors the words and challenges me to find the best method of expression. His contribution is brave — he works without ego to benefit the emotion of the song. Same goes with Fielder and Bosh. Completing the puzzle. We are all emotional beings. And we struggle with what everyone struggles with. Our ultimate goal is to stay true to that, no matter what. We play together because we crave honesty, and we want to do justice to love in all its forms.”
“Volcano” the self-titled album’s latest single seethes with the feral unease of someone, who’s literally bouncing off the walls emotionally and mentally as they vacillate between feelings of power and self-assuredness, self-satisfaction, self-hatred, insecurity, passivity, boredom and fury. Centered around angular bursts of guitar, thunderous drumming a rousingly anthemic hook and Ljeti’s explosive shouts and yelps, the song evokes the interior monologues of Dostoevsky’s Notes from the Underground paired with the tense and neurotic instrumentation of Gang of Four.
The recently released video follows two fairly average teenage girls and their adventures in being rebellious and trying to fit in simultaneously. As the band’s Nina Ljeti says of the video and the song, “Volcano” is meant to encapsulate that feeling of being a teenage girl on the verge of adulthood. The constantly fluctuating feelings of excitement, power, sexuality, insecurity, and inadequacy as you are trying to get a sense of who you are. There’s no climax to the video because I wanted to stay true to the nervous energy and stasis of being a teenager. It’s a so-called life. In your mind, you’re ready to grow up, but you’re not sure how to yet. You’re not as ready as you think you are.
“I still carry that impatient energy with me into adulthood. That’s what Volcano is about. There are so many things I want/want to be, but I’m not grown enough yet. I want to be a volcano but I’m still dormant. Maybe soon that will change.”