credit: Nika Aila States
A Mouth May Grow (Native Cat Recordings 2018) is the first full length album from red steppes. Helmed by songwriter and photographer Nika Aila States, recorded and mixed to tape at Tiny Telephone in Northern California, the songs are built from organic and felt performances, drawing their aesthetic language from the bounded period of long days and evenings in the studio, from the generous imitations of analog tape. Driving the album's musical exploration is a deep respect for folk music, age-old melodic traditions, and for the experimental and irreverent.
The songs saunter through mapped points on the Western coast of the US, explore growth and decay, and interrogate narrative tropes surrounding love, gender, and industry. Nika's wider artistic practice as a visual artist can't help but find its way into her musical work: a yearning for a sense of place, the positioning of botany and landscape as teacher and translator, and the pregnant silence of uninhabited places.
States currently lives in Brooklyn, where she is preparing her second full-length release, pursuing a Geography degree, and exploring a bridge between textile arts and photography.
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