Cousins Nate and Mike Kinsella have a long, long history in underground music, both together and apart. Nate, along with his brother Tim, was part of Cap’n Jazz, the pioneering emo band that started in Chicago in 1989. After Cap’n Jazz broke up, Nate and Mike formed American Football, and they are both active with this band once again now. The Kinsellas have also played together in Joan Of Arc, and Nate has played in Joan Of Arc’s offshoot, Make Believe, while Mike has been doing solo music for years under the name Owen. Today Nate and Mike announced the creation of a new group, a duo called LIES.
Today, LIES announced their existence by releasing their first two songs, “Blemishes” and “Echoes”. If you’re familiar with the Kinsellas’ past work, then their experimental, genre-neutral approach should come as no surprise. “Blemishes” is a synthetic, hard-hitting pop song with a sweet, fiery vocal and bright, busy strings. Lyrically, he returns a familiar Cure hook: “I’ve been staring at those pixels of you for so long.” “Echoes” has a similar combination of liveliness and thoughtfulness, but is more expansive, spanning six minutes. There is also a lot of saxophone.
There’s definitely a bit of American football in these two LIES songs, but the Kinsellas aren’t the kind of musicians who like to repeat themselves. These first two LIES tracks are catchy, pretty, and quirky in about equal parts. Below, listen to “Blemishes” and “Echoes” and hear about their new direction.
“Blemishes” b/w “Echoes” is now available on Polyvinyl.