Kamuy Talks Music

What Sonya Easterday and Brandt Womack have been listening to





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Knoxville trio Kamuy (named after an Ainu word for the divine spirit or god in every living being) no doubt sounds more dissonant than its namesake, with influences like The Pixies, Slint, and Rodin. Consisting of Sonya Easterday (bass, guitar, lead vocals), Brandt Womack (guitar, vocals) and Tony Johnson (drums, guitar, vocals), the band will be opening for Quartjar Jan. 3 at Barley’s. Here’s what they’ve been listening to:


Dengue Fever, Venus on Earth (M80 Music, 2007)

This is their third record and they are incredible. Cambodian singer Chhom Nimol has such a beautiful voice, not to mention the instrumentation which includes farfisa, sax, guitars, and drums. It’s an interesting combination of East and West.

Patti Smith, Land 1975-2000 (Arista, 2002)

Every time I hear Patti Smith say, “I seek the nerves under your skin,” I get goose bumps. She is a true rock icon. Also she is a writer of some of the best lines ever.

Leonard Cohen, The Best of Leonard Cohen (Columbia, 1975)

This record has some of my favorites, like “Chelsea Hotel #2,” “So Long Marianne,” etc. He is also one of my favorite writers. Genius of a poet.

Elliott Smith, Elliot Smith (Kill Rock Stars, 1995)

There is a definite recurring theme in artists I like: They are good lyricists. I enjoy words and Elliott Smith is another with a gift of putting words together. I never tire of this record. Oftentimes I put it on at night when I can’t sleep.

Sparklehorse, It’s a Wonderful Life (Capitol, 2001)

Mark Linkous is brilliant. I like all the subtle sounds incorporated in their songs. I discover new layers all the time when I listen to this.


Sleater-Kinney, Call the Doctor (Chainsaw, 1996)

I usually listen to this when I am feeling nostalgic for the Pacific Northwest. Olympia will always be one of my favorite places. The sounds of the guitars and the irregular beats are what turn me on. This album may have been one of my first exposures to music both dissonant and melodic, with driving guitar riffs.

Yoshida Brothers,III (Domo, 2006)

Unbelievable. Genius. Rock meets traditional Japanese folk music. I love the rhythms, and the twangy sound of the dual Tsuguru-samishen.

Jay-Z, The Black Album (Roc-A-Fella/Island Def Jam)

What can I say? The CEO of hip-hop. He cannot fail.

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