Helmed by songwriter and photographer Nika Aila States, red steppes is a project built on organic and felt performances which draw their aesthetic language from the bounded period of long days and evenings in the studio, and from the generous imitations of analog tape. These are traveler's songs, and they carry with them a deep respect both for folk music and age-old melodic traditions, and for the experimental and irreverent.
They wind their way 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 can't help but find its way into her musical work, which exhibits all at once a yearning for a sense of place, the positioning of botany and landscape as teacher and translator, and a celebration of the pregnant silence of uninhabited places.
The debut album A Mouth May Grow (Native Cat Recordings) was released in spring 2018, and a follow up, Arcs, will be released in June 2019.