When Uh Huh Her burst onto the indie electronica scene in 2007, a number of admirers were attached to Leisha Hailey’s character Alice Pieszecki, in Showtime’s long-running hit, The L Word. With the band’s first full-length record, Common Reaction in 2010 came the attention of music and TV fans alike, crowding into clubs, hoping to catch a glimpse of Hailey and her band mate, Camila Grey (Mellowdrone).
Photo by Allyce Engleson
What most people didn’t know, is that although they may have discovered Hailey through her work on cable television, her first passion was music since way back in the early ’90s with alt-pop duo, The Murmurs. They went platinum in Norway. Hailey moved on to films, TV, and Uh Huh Her.
With this week’s release of the band’s sixth studio offering, Future Souls, available now on iTunes, Grey and Hailey have released an album that is easily their most sophisticated and sexy to date.
“We’ve been just getting ready, tour planning and merch receiving,” Grey said, calling from from their shared home in Los Angeles.
“Our first show is in Denver so we have to drive,” Hailey added.
When asked how they have evolved as artists, Grey offers an insightful perspective. “I think it’s about the art of letting go. Not having preconceived expectations of what is going to come out of you. I think for me personally it was a really fluid process. I tried to have a lot more fun with the making of this record. We wanted to go back to our more electronic roots. We went back to the more crispy electronic vibe.”
“We set out to make a dance record,” said Hailey.
“We have a certain sound. It’s something we may dance to but I don’t know if anyone else will agree. I think we always have that ethereal shoegazing thing that happens no matter what. Maybe I’ll be alone up there on stage dancing not sure, we’ll see,” Grey said.
Hailey bursts into laughter at the notion of Grey being the lone dancer.
Though the pair has been working together for a number of years, they haven’t always been a couple. As a result, they took a different approach to the writing of this record.
“It was like, ‘I’m going to go for a swim, and then I’m going to go write a chorus. Then I’m going to go for another swim,’” Grey said. “When there’s no pressure, you can come up with cooler shit.”
Where in the past, they had been living apart and putting in six to eight hour days in the studio, this time around they live together and have a home studio. The proximity to each other and their workspace created a less pressured vibe that was more conducive to creation.
“As a band we have a lot of discrepancies,” Grey said, hinting that the partner-as-collaborator dynamic has its ups and downs.
“At this point, we make a better couple than a band,” says Hailey.
“At this point, yeah,” says Grey. “I think we need new band members.”
Laughter from both said that they’re probably OK. Having produced the album completely independently of label support, Grey and Hailey have had to manage the entire operation themselves, including the not-always-glamorous logistics of planning a tour.
“This time around we’re ready to go,” Grey said. “With everything, with merch you know, having it all together and not struggling right before we go out thinking we haven’t done this and that. We are actually learning the ropes of doing it independently, which is kind of exciting and kind of annoying as well. It’s a double-edged sword.”
This tour includes a number of 18+ and all ages shows, an intentional move on their part to reach as many people as possible while touring with the goal of more miles and more shows. Instead of the typical multi-band set-up, they are going a different route this time, touring with a DJ to create more of a dance party vibe.
“Sometimes my ears get tired by the time the headliner comes on,” Hailey said. “I like the idea of a DJ.”
When considering what they are most proud of as they launch Future Souls and prepare to hit the road, the two become thoughtful.
“We are very proud of the record we have made, and that we have done it without label backing,” said Hailey. “There is a slight sadness that it won’t reach as many people as we want it to, without the marketing machine of a big label. But we have sustained this career and our fans have stuck with us. We are proud of that.”
“We have amazing, loyal fans,” Grey said.
Old fans and new fans will be eager to see Uh Huh Her throughout the country when their tour kicks off April 27. Visit uhuhher.com for a full list of dates in the U.S.