With a stylish image and a gritty sound, the London quartet Saint Agnes reimagines several decades of bluesy psychedelic and garage rock. Along with obvious influences like the White Stripes and the Kills, the band's mix of Kitty Austen's commanding vocals and Jon Tufnell's intense guitar playing also borrows from Mazzy Star, the Gun Club, and Ennio Morricone. Coupled with a visual flair informed by cult films such as Anna Biller's The Love Witch, Saint Agnes' snarling sound was exemplified by 2019's Welcome to Silvertown. Saint Agnes began when vocalist/keyboardist/guitarist Austen and vocalist/guitarist Tufnell met while they were playing in other bands. Bonding over their shared love of blues, garage, psych, and spaghetti Western soundtracks, they began recording songs in their East London studio. Taking their name from the patron saint of chastity, Saint Agnes emerged in 2014 with the singles Old Bone Rattle and A Beautiful Day for Murder as well as a cover of the Doors' "Roadhouse Blues," all of which introduced Austen's sultry vocals and Tufnell's fiery guitar work. By 2015, Saint Agnes was a quartet featuring Austen, Tufnell, bassist Ben Chernett, and drummer Andy Head; that year, the band released the Live Under London EP. In 2016, the band issued the singles "Merry Mother of God Go Round" and "Sister Electric" on their own Death or Glory Gang Records label. Two years later, Saint Agnes returned with another single, "Witching Hour," as well as The Death or Glory Gang EP. The band released their self-produced debut album, Welcome to Silvertown -- which was named for the district of London Saint Agnes calls home -- in May 2019. ~ Heather Phares
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