Living together, nestled in the sun-drenched hills on the outskirts of Bristol, Cousin Kula have created their own otherworldly musical universe of serene pop, with vastly distinct, but complementary elements: “the possibilities of jazz, the emphatic energy of club culture, and the sonic tapestries of psychedelia” CLASH remark.
On new album ‘Vitamin D’ (Spring 2024, Rhythm Section Intl.), the Cousin Kula sound is unmistakable, instantly recognisable – just somehow renewed. If their debut album ‘Double Dinners’ was the soundtrack to your heartbreak, then this is the sound of falling back in love again. This feeling is encapsulated in the warm horns, care-free groove and potent potential of the band’s exclamation, “Summers coming!”
With this sophomore effort, Cousin Kula have expanded their vocabulary but also learnt when to just sit back in the groove. A quintet of virtuosic musicians – Cousin Kula appear to have nothing left to prove – flexing when necessary, but more often than not, stripping it right back and revelling in the pocket. Funk & disco has permeated their psychedelic indie-soul sound and it’s all the better for it.
In 2020 the release of a lo-fi, mostly live, cassette grabbed the attention of beloved tastemaker and DJ Bradley Zero. The band put together their first full length Double Dinners, released on Rhythm Section Intl. in 2021. “The band balance an outsider approach with more hooks than you can shake a stick at” the label boss & DJ explains “the result being a gently beguiling sound that effortlessly draws you in, revealing more character with each listen.” The album received similar praise from CRACK, The Guardian, Gilles Peterson to name a few, and saw Cousin Kula tour with Mildlife around the UK.
Masters of their craft, but also of restraint, this prodigal band is known to fans for their live show. Having performed in various bands since they were in their early teens, not being able to hit the stage during lockdown took its toll on these musicians. Ever resourceful, however, Cousin Kula began a series of their own home-made live sessions, which lead in turn to a Boiler Room Session and further a request from XL signees BADBADNOTGOOD to record a live adaptation of their new single.
Now, Cousin Kula flutter into the collective consciousness with a timeless slice of psychedelic disco on their new material. The latest band to emerge out of the buoyant Bristol music scene, they have stripped back all excess baggage for their most accomplished recordings to date. This album is for the lovers, but also for the dancers. It’s a rare case of perfect thematic and musical synergy. It will pick you up and leave you with a good feeling.