Summer Cannibals

(Photo: courtesy of the artist)

Singer and guitarist Jessica Boudreaux looked to the music of earlier female-fronted rock bands like Bikini Kill and Sleater-Kinney when she started her own group, Summer Cannibals, in 2012.

Boudreaux and her band, who hail from Portland, Ore., recently signed to the indie label Kill Rock Stars. She’s right at home. Over the past 25 years, the Pacific Northwest label put out those very records by Bikini Kill and Sleater-Kinney, as well as her idols The Thermals.

OpenAir spoke with Boudreaux last week prior to a performance at Denver's Lost Lake Lounge. She says her band’s third release, “Full Of It,” is divided into two themes -- one for each side of the record.

Side A is about expressing frustration outwardly -- like on the title track, which attacks music critics.

"Criticism of music and literature and movies is generally worrisome to me," Boudreaux says. "I understand its purpose but I feel like a lot of times it does more harm than it does good. I think listeners and viewers and readers are smart enough to form their own opinions without someone like Pitchfork telling them what they think."

More Inside Track features from OpenAir:

On Side B, Boudreaux turns her frustration inward as she focuses on a recent breakup with her former guitarist in Summer Cannibals.

"The insecurities of being in a failing relationship, and how they affect your insecurities as a human, is the main focus," she says.

It’s rare for musicians in the digital streaming age to think of their music in terms of album sides. But Boudreaux says Summer Cannibals sells more music on vinyl than any other medium. 

She pointed to fellow Portland band The Thermals and their 2006 album "The Body, The Blood, The Machine" for inspiring her to look at albums cohesively.

"I’m thinking about the arc of listening to a vinyl record because you have to stop and flip it over and start the second half of the story," she says. "When an album has a lyrical arc, I really appreciate that."

“Full Of It” is out May 27.

Stream our Inside Track interview feature with Summer Cannibals via the link above.