Video: Kills Birds, ‘Rabbit’

Kills Birds (Photo by Cheryl Georgette)

Kills Birds arrived with a bang in 2018, their self-titled album in the fall of ’19 certifying the band as one of L.A.’s most electrifying new rock acts. Led by Bosnian-born Canadian Nina Ljeti, their thunderous blend of post-punk, hardcore and indie-rock (“Nina-core”?) gave the quartet a singular, primal presence.

Today, they returned with the news that their sophomore album, “Married,” will be out Nov. 12 via Royal Mountain Records and KRO Records. With the news came the new agitant, “Rabbit.”

“Lyrically, ‘Rabbit’ is about the experience of being in an abusive relationship with a powerful person,” Ljeti says. “To be with someone who was praised by the public, but hurt you (and others) in private really eviscerates your self-worth. There’s nowhere to turn for help. Like many people who share this experience, this particular relationship defined the majority of my young adulthood, and I’m still dealing with the emotional consequences of it.”

Says guitarist Jacob Loeb: “‘Rabbit’ was the first song written for the new album. Despite being one of the harder-hitting songs on the record, it was originally written on an acoustic guitar at Nina’s house. The goal was for the chorus to have an almost disorienting quiet/loud dynamic which really came to life when we plugged in and all practiced it for the first time. We tried to make the chorus start so quietly that the listener feels like something went wrong with their speaker and has to kind of lean in to hear Nina singing before the repetition of ‘How could I?’ abruptly and violently re-enters, startling them and making the emotion visceral.”

The video was directed by Susie Francis. “For ‘Rabbit,’ we wanted to depart from the lo-fi aesthetic of our first record and come back with something that was super vivid, bold and direct. The idea was to capture the raw energy of our live performance, particularly from Nina, in the sterile and stilted setting of a film set, with the camera itself becoming this kind of ominous force that manipulates and distorts what it captures.”

||| Watch: the video for “Rabbit”

||| Live: Kills Birds opens for Sleigh Bells on Oct. 21 at the Teragram Ballroom. Tickets.

||| Previously: Quarantunes (May 2020), 2019 Albums of the Year, live at the Bootleg Theater, interview (September 2019), “Jesus Did” / “Worthy Girl”