Black Bird Stitches
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Black Bird Stitches

Band Alternative Acoustic

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Jun
23
Black Bird Stitches @ Sebastopol Center for the Arts

Sebastopol, California, USA

Sebastopol, California, USA

Jun
20
Black Bird Stitches @ Occidental Arts & Ecology Center with Stiff Dead Cat

Occidental, California, USA

Occidental, California, USA

Apr
13
Black Bird Stitches @ Nershalom - a benefit concert for Esperanza de Libertad

Cotati, California, USA

Cotati, California, USA

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Music

Press


So there I was at the Jenner Concert Series to see Julian Lage and I go to use the loo and there, kneeling on the floor in front of the mirror is a beautiful young woman putting on irridescent blue make-up on her face. She's dressed in black lace and organdy with black and blue striped stockings and combat boots.
Well, heck - turns out she's the opening act. Black Bird Stitches is what she goes by. She's introduced as a true performance artist who got a warm reception at previous shows, so she's back for more.
Now I have to say I like this woman. She just feels good. I like watching her and the way the light plays off her irridescent make-up. I like to watch her move and sway with her music. I picture her at home making sounds as she travels about her abode all decorated with interesting trivia she has picked up over time. I see her washing dishes and experimenting with sounds she can make with her mouth, inflections in her voice and dishes clanging against each other.
Her songs are stories - stories of her life and life in general - but definitely from her perspective. They are poetry. They are music. They are soundscapes. She changes instruments with each song - once a bright blue guitar, an electric bass that is sometimes rhythm and somtimes just sound. One of those bottle whatever they're called and then this very strange kind of accordian (?) that the only time you've probably ever seen or heard one played was back when the Krishna folks roamed the airports chanting and selling books.
Like I say - I like this woman. I like her art, her sound, her courage of her convictions and her style. It will be interesting to see where she goes with all this. Find her and enjoy this woman's art. Black Bird Stitches. Yes. - Vesta Copestakes, Forestville Gazette


Black Bird Stitches' primeval torch songs could burn down a barn. They crawl along at an intimate pace, sticky and sultry with the detritus of everyday life and longing. These are not torch songs of knuckle-biting, physical yearning, but of something deeper and darker and more mysterious, their ghost narrators yellowing with age and fettered by quietly powerful nostalgia.
"I love the effect of time", says Kirana Peyton, the chanteuse and multi-instrumentalist who performs as Black Bird Stitches. "To me it creates that feeling of the timelessness, the infinite within the finite." The characters that populate Peyton's songs on Black Bird Stitches' eponymous debut album exist in such spaces, where a moment spans eons and a decade streaks by in a flash.
"At the time that I made the album, I was very much in my cocoon," Peyton says of the songs she recorded with bassist, engineer and co-producer Paul Lamb over the course of a year. "And that's what that reord is for, for people who need to be in a cocoon. It's quiet and introspective, then kind of thrashing around in your room for a couple tracks there."
The quick-pulsed "Moon Cracked Open" is on such empowering tantrum-song; it surges up from the ground, steeped in delirious vengeance ("I keep a little lightening in my pocket when in need/ I got dirt under my nails and a lion up my sleeve/ The moon cracked open with a body boom sound/ Down came the dream of her pouring to the ground"). But Peyton also delivers creaky, cryptic moments that hiss like a snake, and sordid tales of broken lives sung in a bluesy howl. It's a CD best listened to without interruption, in the company of nothing but your imagination.
Peyton, who lives in Sebastopol, has a strong resumé of music projects in the North Bay, notably Majesty's Monkey, a startlingly original group that Peyton fronted with Jesca Hoop. Working with producer Yarrow Mahko, they infused elements of spoken word, found sound and performance art into intense, highly personalized minimalist folk. Majesty's Monkey disbanded several years ago, but Peyton still performs with her other band, the Celtic-influenced Spiral Bound, as a vocalist and percussionist.
Those who caught one of Majesty's Monkey's quietly electrifying live shows will recognize many of their defining qualities in Black Bird Stitches, but with a more finely tuned focus on theatricality and storytelling through sound. A highly expressive vocalist, Peyton constructs layers of tension by getting sneaky with her pipes, cooing softly at one moment, swooping into gospel-driven wail the next and punctuating it all with a sly, diabolical laugh. The songs' typically sparse instrumentation serves as a powerful backwash that penetrates the narration.
In the suave and spar "Caw Lady Coo" from 'Black Bird Stitches', Peyton bend her voice to evoke not a cooing crow, but a muted trumpet emulating a cooing crow, an extra layer of imitation that makes the vocal effect all the more convincing. She also weaves everyday sounds into her music, recently incorporating and old-fashioned, hand-cranked coffee grinder in a song she calls "Daily Grind". I consider the story, what's happening in the story and try to create sounds that support the story," she says.
Black Bird Stitches has been playing more shows in the past few months, affording the audience the pleasure of witnessing the project's live version come into it own. Meanwhile, Peyton and Lamb have been recording a new batch of songs. "This next albulm is a little more upbeat. The newer songs have been mostly recorded in this old farmhouse that I'm living in-the environment definitely comes through." Peyton's exposure to bluegrass music at festivals she attended with her family while growing up in Indiana also comes through. The spirit of the newer songs is cozier, the instrumentation is fuller and the feel is that of slipping into a group of friends jamming on a circle of hay bales.
"I try to stay open to what's coming to me from the world, and sometimes things just bubble up from inside," says Peyton. "It's almost impossible to not fully put yourself out there, outside of your little bubble. The more I get to understand myself and the world around me, the vaster a resevoir there is to draw from." - The Bohemian, Sara Bir


Discography

debut CD: Black Bird Stitches

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

BLACK BIRD STITCHES
talismanic dirt folk

"Throw together some gypsy, bluegrass, swing, old time blues, irish and hardcore rock/punk and that would be a pretty good call of influences. But I have to say life is the biggest influence. I play music because it rouses my soul to the core and back. It's exciting, beautiful, heart wrenching, unifying, ridiculous, enduring and fun! It's so many things but in the end, music moves oceans so I'll be here with my goggles strapped on, ridin' the waves, singin' and playin' for and from the tides."

Black Bird Stitches began with Kirana Peyton playing out her unique musical style in a postmodern troubadour fashion. She was then joined by bassist Paul Lamb who brought in a stirring melodic groove to the sound. Most recently, drummer Tim Bailey has joined in to whip up some stellar rhythms.

For Kirana, it all started while sitting next to her Grandpa as he played old time piano, finger nails clicking on the keys. The rest of the time, she was basically raised on bluegrass.
Throughout her musical history, she's had the good fortune of sharing the stage with Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Faun Fables, El Radio Fantastique, John Trudell, Jesca Hoop, Stiff Dead Cat and many talented others.

Currently, Kirana and Paul are co-producing a second full length record in collaboration with engineer Oz Fritz (Tom Waits, Bill Laswell among others).
Black Bird Stitches continues to kick up the dirt in a variety of venues along the west coast.

"Black Bird Stitches' primeval torch songs could burn down a barn. They crawl along at an intimate pace, sticky and sultry with the detritus of everyday life and longing. These are not torch songs of knuckle-biting, physical yearning, but of something deeper and darker and more mysterious, their ghost narrators yellowing with age and fettered by quietly powerful nostalgia."
Sara Bir, The North Bay Bohemian

Radio play & featured interviews on:
KRSH, KALX, KHSU

honorable mention for
American Songwriter Magazine
lyrics award