Order A MOUTH MAY GROW by red steppes on digital and vinyl
"A Mouth May Grow" is the first full length album from red steppes on Native Cat Recordings. Helmed by songwriter and photographer Nika Aila States, recorded and mixed to tape at Tiny Telephone in Northern California, the music draws its aesthetic language from the bounded period of long days and evenings in the studio and from the generous imitations of analog tape.
The songs move through mapped points on the Western coast of the US, explore growth and decay, and interrogate narrative tropes surrounding love, gender, and industry. State's wider artistic practice as a visual artist makes its mark as well, in imagery that nods to a yearning for a sense of place, the positioning of botany and landscape as teacher and translator, and the pregnant silence of uninhabited places.
"A Mouth May Grow" pairs each song with a 35mm photograph of the space which informed and framed its music and lyrics. The salt marshes of Alviso - at the terminus of the concrete-bound Guadalupe River and Coyote Creek - features twice. The regional parks east of Oakland provide grounding for an inquiry into sex and morbidity, and Bodie - the site of a ghost town high in the eastern Sierras - asks questions about religion, dislocation, gender, and decay. The music looks for a holistic kind of knowledge, and hopes to glean it in the fine details of common weeds, barred windows, and small-town cemeteries.