NYC-based, eclectic, operatic-punk piano artist, Kristeen Young, releases the track/video, “NICE,” from her upcoming album, Live at the Witch’s Tit, due out later this year. Young’s last album featured Dave Grohl on drums, and she has toured with Morrissey, appeared on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and David Letterman, and has received high praise from tastemakers like NYLON, Billboard and Noisey, among others.
“The easiest way to describe Young’s music is “Kate Bush on crack,” but there’s more to it than that. She uses piano, synths, a punk-rock rhythm section and her melodramatic vocals to conjure moods ranging from frantic… to defiant…to tender…often turning on a dime several times in a single song. “ (LA WEEKLY) The new album features a diverse line-up of guest players on various tracks, including Megan X Thomas (Ghost) on bass, and Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Vernon Reid (Living Colour), John LaMacchia (Candiria) and Sarah Register (Talk Normal) on guitar, and was co-produced by Young and Tony Visconti (David Bowie, T. Rex).
Kristeen Young discovered songwriting at an early age, using it to escape from nightmarish foster and adoptive upbringings. Musically and lyrically, Young is as wide-ranging as they come, referencing influences from Prince to Monk to Maria Callas to Bartok to The Beat Movement writers. SPIN states, “[Young] channels the otherworldly, art-rock dramatics of Kate Bush, along with the ferocity of Sleater-Kinney”
Hailing from St. Louis, Young met drummer, Jefferson Wayne White, as kids and have been collaborating ever since. As most musicians do, Young explored a variety of projects and incarnations, growing her sound over the years into “sharp, confrontational art-rock.” (New York Times) She moved to NYC in 2002 after meeting Tony Visconti and David Bowie and singing on his album, Heathen, then releasing her own album, Breasticles (which includes the Young-penned Bowie duet, Saviour). Young followed with projects: X (pronounced “ten”), which features a duet with Brian Molko (Placebo) in 2004, and The Orphans (2006), which caught the attention of Morrissey and garnered Young an opening slot for him for 2 years and as a featured vocalist with him on Letterman in 2007.
Throughout the following years, Young toured on and off as a solo artist with Morrissey and duetted with Patrick Stump (Fall Out Boy) on Music For Strippers, Hookers, and the Odd On-Looker (2009), and released V the Volcanic (2011). In 2013, Dave Grohl contacted her after hearing a song of hers on a mixtape, then subsequently played drums and guitar on The Knife Shift (2014). White returned to play drums on following tour dates, and that summer, Young appeared on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson with Grohl, Pat Smear on guitar and Thomas on bass. In early 2016, Live at the Witch’s Tit went into production along with videos for 5 tracks. Sylvia Black stepped in for Thomas on bass in early 2017, and the band now anticipates its next “groundbreaking, envelope-pushing” (BlackBook) album.
Kristeen Young just completed a weekly residencies in Los Angeles, London and NYC and is gearing up for a residency in Los Angeles at Hotel Cafe in Live at the Witch’s Tit. May, followed by shows throughout the summer. The Dallas Observer calls Young, “a thrill… like a collision of Prince and Bauhaus… [Young is] one to watch in the coming months”Stay tuned for more shows and new material from this “striking and intense” (Billboard) performer, all leading up to the much anticipated release of Live at the Witch’s Tit.