Where we practice: Vulva Culture

Led by Amy V, Halifax’s melancholy mood band finds their magic right at home.

Alyson Hardwick

Last summer, Amy V (Scribbler) realized she needed more elements for her new solo experimental-pop project, Vulva Culture, so she recruited certain friends with special talents: Kayla Stevens brings harmonic and effects guitar, Evan Matthews drums with a classical background, Hannah Guinan (Old & Weird) owns unconventional basslines and Bianca Palmer locks down the doo-wop. Together as Vulva Culture, it's a magic combo. "I'm really happy with this format," says Amy V. "Right off the top, it was very organic."

"I'm a melancholy person," says Amy V (above, in black) of Vulva's sullen but sweet releases. "I listen to a lot of sad music like doo-wop, which everyone thinks is happy but it's super-tragic. I was trained in opera and classical, so I listen to opera religiously and it's completely tragic, as well. I'm very much a visceral songwriter and the EP"—Rolling in the Creep—"and demos came from my experiences directly."

Vulva Culture jams and sometimes records in a big, old, north-Robie Street basement of roommates Stevens, Matthews and psych-pop band Walrus, which requires a rotating jam schedule. It offers comfy features like cozy chairs and futons. "We also hang out in each other's beds," laughs Amy V. "And Bianca has a bright and cheery kitchen that's kind of like our office."

"There's a lot of cool stuff happening in April," she says, anticipating Vulva Culture videos by Exclaim! and Matt Barkley's take on "Human Garbage;" a four-song EP titled In Vain and a trip to St. John's for Lawyna Vawyna. Recording with multi-instrumentalist Jeremy Costello, Vulva Culture will continue refining its experimentations from jazz riffs to pscyh-rock effects. Amy V wants to write honestly about "the sad and happy things that happen."

Vulva Culture w/Soft Spot, Teleri
Saturday, March 28, 7:30pm
BSide Gallery, 2180 Gottingen Street, $3/pwyc