Audrey Ann and Kyle Jukka. Photo by Sarah O’Driscoll
Local duo She-Devils are releasing their self-titled debut EP on Jan. 15, a four-song sampler of the band’s dreamy pop sound.
It’s a big moment for Audrey Ann and Kyle Jukka, who met five years ago as roommates at a communal jam space. “The lifestyle there was just a lot of hanging out and jamming, and things evolved slowly over time,” says Kyle. “We got the idea for the band two years ago and started doing it, and it just worked in terms of a process which you could do over and over again. The more we did it, the more certain it became of itself.”
“I think we were coming from different places,” says Audrey, referring to music, not geography (though, for the record, she is from Montreal and he moved here in 2008 from Toronto, via Uxbridge, ON). “Kyle always wanted to jam and have everything be in the moment and I’m more shy and do things by myself when no one’s looking. So the process of making music was different. Our influences were kind of different but also complementary.
“I guess musically I’ve always been really into 50s songs, more traditional songwriting, and it kind of evolved from there,” Audrey adds. “At the moment I’m really into older country music, pre-’50s, but I’m more into characters than just the music itself — not a synthetic creation but something that’s really human and close to who I am.”
“I was listening to a lot of hip hop and electronic music,” Kyle says. “So in my role in the band, I adopted aspects of those practices, and Audrey has her world and things just fit together.”
The combination of vintage-rock ‘n’ roll songcraft and chillwave production style create a kind of surreal girl group sound reminiscent of late ’90s/early aughts U.K. band Broadcast, and wouldn’t be out of place in a sequel to David Lynch’s Eraserhead. And we can expect more from this sonic palette pretty soon — these tracks were culled from sessions for an LP, and Kyle says they’ve saved their favourite songs for the full-length record.
Prior to She-Devils, Kyle worked on a solo project called Flow Child and was a member of Pop Winds, who disbanded around the time he met Audrey. One of his Pop Winds bandmates was Devon Welsh, who went on to form Majical Cloudz, a duo that She-Devils have played some American dates with in the past, in L.A. and at the FORM festival in Arcosanti, AZ, curated by the band Hundred Waters. The two duos will soon be hitting the road again for what will be She-Devils’ first proper tour: nine shows in two weeks.
“We’re not driving across the Prairies,” Kyle says, explaining that this won’t be one of those masochistic dues-paying cross-Canada winter tours. “A good chunk of it is gonna be on the West Coast.”
“I feel like it’s gonna be an easy introduction to touring,” Audrey says, “and after that we might have to do these crazy tours where we have to get a shitty van. But this is the first time we’re doing something like this together, and it’s gonna be fun.” ■