Nashville, TN, might not be the first place for a dream pop band to come together, but the birthplace of American music was a nice fit for Venus Hum. Comprised of vocalist Annette Strean and multi-instrumentalists Kip Kubin and Tony Miracle, the trio formed in 1999. Strean, who grew up with a logger father in Whitefish, MT, found Nashville to be her cultural calling. She grew up singing show tunes for fun, but her fondness for the Cure and Kate Bush pushed her creatively. Strean fell for kitschy films from the 50s, too. Later, she designed her own clothing from vintage apparel. Miracle had a similar upbringing. He was locked into typical family suburbia in Cincinnati, OH, and sought comfort in England's new wave reign. Depeche Mode and the Cure allowed him to explore various electronic dance acts of the '80s. Kubin was a Jersey kid. A friend of his had a dad who made his own keyboards, so Kubin naturally picked up the instrument. From there, Strean, Miracle, and Kubin connected. Miracle set up Chessington Synth Labs Studio in his basement, and Venus Hum created a lush, dynamic pop sound. Their self-titled debut appeared on Mono-Fi in spring 2001.
Shows in and around Nashville were successful for Venus Hum. Lucky for them, electroclash producer/scenester Larry Tee took Venus Hum under his wing. The band appeared at Tee's Electroclash Festival in New York City during summer 2002, and Stereolab asked Venus Hum to open for them in Nashville. The Hummingbirds EP coincided with a joint U.S. tour with Sing-Sing that October. Six months later, their proper full-length album Big Beautiful Sky was released. After a series of problems that included issues with their label and nodes on Strean's vocal chords, Venus Hum went on a two-year hiatus. During that time, Strean underwent physical and vocal therapy, Kubin became a filmmaker, and Miracle recorded an album under the name Satellite City. In 2005, the trio reconvened and began recording together and individually; the results were the acoustic/electronic manipulations of their second album, The Colors in the Wheel, which arrived in summer 2006. ~ MacKenzie Wilson