Stereo Embers The Podcast: Rain Phoenix and Kirk Hellie (Escape Artist Lovers)

Written by on 12/06/2023

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“Follow The Leader”

So, Rain Phoenix first was on my radar back in 1991 when she and her brother River had a band called Aleka’s Attic. They had a marvelous song called Across The Way on this compilation Tame Yourself, which also featured The Pretenders, Michael Stipe, the Indigo Girls and K.D. Lang. The Texas-born Phoenix acted in TV shows like Family Ties and Amazing Stories and in movies like Even Cowgirls Get The Blues and Hitch. She fronted Papercranes, who put out three really great albums and she was in the Galactic Country band Venus and the Moon with Chris Stills. She also put out a really stunning solo album called River, which was named after her late brother, in 2019. A native of Southern California, Kirk Hellie is like a music archeologist because he knows how to dig sounds out of the deepest of grounds. A lover and studier of Avant Garde music, was in bands like Hellie Siblings, Death Loop Detonator and Pink Noise Test. Hellie played with Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols, and toured with The Cramps and Iggy Pop.Together, Phoenix and Hellie are Escape Artist Lovers, who play a dizzying blend of sonorous and scruffy indie rock that sounds something like Beth Orton fronting the Jesus and Mary Chain. The interplay between these two musicians is pure magic and the songs, whether they’re stripped back or coated in layers of fuzz and groove, are delicious slices of melodic bliss.

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