Delivering a slew of twisted hymns, Krush Puppies are here to leave you haunted. The post-punk four-piece are a modern day musical coven; ethereal incantations, fuzzy riffs and weightless flutes merge together, making for a woozy, liminal listening experience. Their debut EP ‘Love Kills The Demons’ is defined by its bewitching experimentation – and hints at even grander, bolder things to come.
“We played a gig the other day and this girl came up to us, deadly serious, and she said, “are you guys witches?“ vocalist Alexa Daly laughs. Yet the girl can hardly be blamed – take one look at Krush Puppies’ music videos and you’ll be asking yourself the same thing. Their visuals feel like tapes that should have been lost to time, the dreamy embodiment of doomsday. Even with their sound, Alexa and Jenny’s vocals merge together, siren-line – at times the effect is terrifying, yet the pair also muster a jawdropping level of sensibility, light as a whisper. ‘Love Kills The Demons’ title-track is softened with love, every note syrupy sweet and sentimental.
And this is what lures you in – this combination of soft and satanic. Whether covered in blood or performing acts of ritualistic sacrifice, every element still feels rose-tinted; Krush Puppies are eerily bittersweet, luring you in for a closer look. The aesthetic is a delight, and, according to vocalist and guitarist Jenny Wells, incredibly organic; “with the darkness, or the witch-y energy, it’s just the natural lines I think that we all gravitate towards.” Alexa then adds, “I don’t think any of it is at all conscious. We’ll go towards a sort of darkness, evil – all that stuff interests us – but it’s definitely not conscious. It just kind of snowballs – and then were just, y’know, marching into the sea with a coffin and setting things on fire…”
Krush Puppies’ approach is grounded in this ‘unconscious’ mindset primarily due to their musical history – or lack thereof. “Before this band, I could play a bit, but only Heather could really play,” Jenny says. “We’ve never really been in a band before this, so the way that we do things is never really thinking about traditional formats for songs or anything like that. It’s whatever feels right for the song. It could be two minutes long, or just completely change rhythm halfway through. And I think that it’s a lot more fun to make stuff up in that sense.”
And that’s what makes their sound so unique – with no preconceptions of how music ‘should’ be made, the Krush Puppies attitude is instead ripe for experimentation. “Our approach is just… what sounds good!” Jenny explains. “We’re always working stuff out, and it’s really fun being like ‘okay, right, how do I make that happen on the pedals that I’ve got?’ Because it’s new to us, we have to work things out, but we’re also not restricted to set ways of doing things because we’re not been trained.” Keyboardist Jess McGill pipes up, adding “It’s a very natural process. We maybe think about it once or twice and then we’re like… yeah, that sounds right.”
Drummer Heather’s multi-instrumental background is the group’s centre of guidance, however – but it never limits that spark of creative freedom. Jenny takes a moment to praise Heather’s role in the group – “having her really helps, that added knowledge. It feels good with Heather because she brings, like….. the talent. If she’d have been there from day one, she’d be like, ‘I’m out man.’ We didn’t even know how to change a guitar string – we all really learnt together.” Jenny pauses before laughing, “we had no clue what we were doing, but we just all wanted to be in a band.” Jess then adds “I think my boyfriend knew Alexa or something, and we needed a bassist, so we were like okay…”
But you’d hardly believe that was the case when listening to Krush Puppies’ music. Their sound is remarkable – it doesn’t hint at a band that once didn’t understand the concept of a soundcheck (“I remember standing like… I don’t know. Sounds good?” Jenny laughs.) Their debut EP was a chance for them to push their sound even further, and Jenny takes a moment to gush about those rich, rich details the recording experience allowed them to add in; “It was nice to add in layers this time because we haven’t recorded like that before. We’ve never had the chance to use lots of different layers. So there’s just so much more written in, chant-y bits, little sounds buried deep. I think it does add to the atmosphere, even if it’s not immediately noticeable on the first listen… they add up.”
And this attention to detail is exactly what makes Krush Puppies so exciting. One EP in, and they’re already churning out Western-tinged anthems and chilling medieval leaning bangers – there’s no saying where they could go next. “The intention is always aiming for catharsis – and then, you never really know where that will take you. Sometimes a track turns into something you never could have imagined, and you’re just like, ‘oh shit, I didn’t even know I felt like this.’”
So catch them live while the sacrificial flame is still roaring – and, with their lack of backing tracks (as of right now) each track is guaranteed to take on an entirely new life live. And, if Alexa has her way, they might even be suspended upside down like bats… sounds good to us!
Words: Emily Swingle
Photography: Danny Herman