Traveling up and down the West Coast in June, the four piece folk-pop act now known as Kuinka returns to The Catalyst in Santa Cruz on Thursday, June 8.
Comprised of brothers Nathan and Zach Hamer on ukulele and mandolin and lead guitar and percussion, respectively, Miranda Zickler on synthesizer, banjo and guitar and Jillian Walker on cello and percussion, the band settled on kuinka, a Finnish word for “how?” After more than two years of a legal trademark dispute over their band name Rabbit Wilde, the quartet settled on Kuinka.
“We spent a lot of hours going over different names and different ideas. We decided the most pragmatic thing was to pick something we couldn’t find anywhere else on the Internet,” Zickler said. “We started going through Scandinavian words because they’re mutually intelligible with English, and they are a lot of fun, especially Finnish words and we ended up landing on Kuinka! It’s really fun to say, that was the biggest selling point. It looks nice, we like the double ‘k’ and it’s not going to be too confusing to pronounce.”
Coinciding with the announcement of the name change in March 2017 was an announcement for the band’s latest release, an EP titled Stay Up Late, to be released this Friday, June 2. The new EP is appropriate for the name change, Zickler explained, the music they were writing was already undergoing a bit of rebranding and leaning away from the strict Americana and folk influences and into the studio magic of vocal doubles, synthesizers and the like.
Performing with Kuinka will be one of the Bay Area’s favorite folk groups, T Sisters. Having formed in 2014 and and their first full-length LP being released last October, the three sisters have made a large splash in the local music scene and show no signs of slowing down.
Kuinka, T Sisters
The Catalyst Atrium
June 8, 2017
8:30pm, $7 (16+)