Kitty, Daisy and Lewis

I am obsessed with the British teen music trio Kitty, Daisy and Lewis.  They’re three siblings, all under 20 apparently, whose parents are session musicians (also I think their mom was briefly a drummer in The Raincoats).

Here’s one of their videos:


From the first moment I heard them it seemed obvious that they were “retro,”  but I’m not very familiar with the particular brand of spirited hillbilly music at which they excel.

Take the song above, “Going Up the Country.”   I vaguely recognized it when I heard their cover, and figured that it was some bluesy standard.  But a little digging reminded me that the version I recognize is actually a Woodstock-era song with that grating, TV-commercial-like flute hook, by Canned Heat.  So even though these precocious teens probably consider themselves to be covering the blues original, for most ears it’s an overdue reinterpretation of that hippy debacle — and the line “We might even leave the USA” sounds distinctly late-60s.  

I’m not sure what to make of all this.  Would I be better off just listening to “era-appropriate” music?  Or is there something new about three British teenagers redoing these standards? I am definitely enchanted, even despite the fact that their parents are obviously exercising some degree of Svengali-like influence (they’re both in the backing band for example).

Here’s a clip from a documentary that has some further detail, including their festishistic obsession with using only analog equipment when they record. Note the slightly awkward explanation of “letting Dad into the band,” because he was always sort of hanging around anyway.


And here is the first minute of a great live performance of probably my favorite track of theirs, “Honolulu Rocka Rolla”:


Again, I have no idea where this song comes from. It appears to have been a hit for “Bella Di Waikiki,” and here is Eartha Kitt singing it.

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