The Nesting Dolls
Gig Seeker Pro

The Nesting Dolls

La Palma, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

La Palma, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Punk




"La Palma sisters and members of The Nesting Dolls play their own brand of music influenced by family"

Sisters Mikayla and Marlena Khramov are singers, songwriters and instrumentalists who grew up around Russian folk music, were once awed by an Elvis impersinator and dig ‘80s rock, surf music and the rockabilly scene.

The La Palma sisters, who perform as The Nesting Dolls, invented their own genre to pay tribute to their musical influences: Russian-American Rock-n-Folk-n-Roll-a-Billy.

The Nesting Dolls have been sharing their sound with more and more audiences.

They’ve played gigs at Ronnie Mack’s Barn Dance at Viva Cantina in Burbank in 2013 and Art Fein’s annual Elvis Birthday Bash at the Echo in Los Angeles in 2014.

They performed at Fullerton’s Day of Music on June 21 and have played at the historic Muckenthaler Cultural Center. Marlena sings and plays the ukulele. Mikayla sings and plays guitar, drums and Celtic harp.

It was fitting that Marlena, 18, and Mikayla, 21, kicked back on a leather sofa in the rear of Roadkill Ranch – a Fullerton boutique as diverse as their music – to tell their story.

Marlena works at the boutique, which caters to the rockabilly lifestyle on one side and offers jewelry and accessories more reflective of the ‘60s on the other side.

Their father, Igor Khramov, who died in 2013 at age 50, was from Russia and gained notoriety as a founding member of the Russian folk-and-roll band Limpopo.

Khramov also recorded with the Red Elvises, a Russian-American group that performs rockabilly and Russian folk.

“He was a genius,” Marlena said. “You give him anything and even if he never played it before, he would play it perfectly.”

Their mother, Janelle Frese, is a writer, teacher and drummer who briefly played with the Ladies Professional Baseball League.

Mikayla recalls tagging along on tours with her father. Both girls were recording with him before the age of 10.

The girls, who’d been performing in musical theater in their early teens, said they got their first inspirational spark while watching noted Elivs impersonator Scott Bruce perform at La Palma’s Central Park about four years ago.

“I thought, we’ve got to do this,” said Mikayla, who gathered together a couple of musician friends.

The Rad Cats were born.

They played local events such as La Palma’s Battle of the Bands and at the La Palma Days festival.

Bigger gigs followed.

“Everything just kept rolling,” Mikayla said. “We started as a little garage band, playing Johnny B. Goode, and we’re writing our own music.”

About a year ago, the sisters changed their name to The Nesting Dolls, a tribute to the sets of Russian wooden dolls that get bigger in size as one is placed inside of another.

And influences and inspirations continue to ooze in, especially when writing songs.

“The inspirations I get about my songs are about boys, cause I’ve been through a lot of weird relationships,” Marlena said. “It’s just that story that makes the story of the song.”

“And I write about my dad. He really inspires me.”

Mikayla’s approach is a bit different.

“Jewel (Kilcher) said song writing is like having a conversation with yourself,” Mikayla said. “I really take that to heart because I never know how I’m really feeling until I start writing a song.”

In a few months, The Nesting Dolls will be releasing their first album, which will include 10 original songs and two covers.

"Something Strange” is written by Marlena and described by Mikayla as a “punk-blues anthem about the wonder of love.”

The other original tune will be “Good, Goodbye, I Love You,” written by Mikayla. She said it is “our Russian-American tribute to that feeling of turning your back on the past.”

Marlena said she has a “crazy vibe” about the album, feeling it “is going to shoot us off.”

If that happens, The Nesting Dolls will undoubtedly have more opportunities to do what they do best.

“I just like playing live,” Marlena said. “I will play every day, every night. I just have to be on stage .. I can’t help it.” - Lou Ponsi Orange County Register


From The Nesting Dolls with Love (EP)
Track 1 "Check This Action!" (Music and Lyrics by LeRois Brothers)
Track 2 "I Torture Myself With You" (The Nesting Dolls)
Track 3 "Something Strange" (The Nesting Dolls)
Track 4 "Sorry, Wrong Number (The Nesting Dolls)
Track 5 "Good, Goodbye, I Love You (The Nesting Dolls)



Recent opener for The Adicts, The Nesting Dolls are a hot sister act influenced by LA punk and Russian folk music- their dad is Igor Khramov of LIMPOPO fame.  The Nesting Dolls describe their own genre as Russian-American Rock-n-Folk-n-Roll-a-Billy. Formerly "TheRadCats" played at Ronnie Mack’s Barn Dances, Eddie Cochran's  Birthday celebration,  and Art Fein’s annual Elvis Birthday Bash. The Nesting Dolls are Mikayla and Marlena Khramov, Dom Cruz and Spencer Hinkle.

Band Members