By Daniel A. Kusner – Life+Style Editor

Lesbian star of "The L Word" gives Dallas a taste of her new electro-pop act, Uh Huh Her

UH-MAZING: Camila Grey, left, and Leisha Hailey get glammed up to rock out. – Lisa Eisner

It would be easy to write off Uh Huh Her as another bloated vanity project for an actress/musician. But Leisha Hailey’s newest attempt at pop music doesn’t suck as much as you’d expect.

While Hailey’s portrayal of bisexual journalist Alice on "The L Word" has been her most commercially successfully career move, she spent most of the ’90s cutting her chops as a singer-songwriter. Her band The Murmurs made catchy pop laced with girly harmonies. K.D. Lang produced one of the group’s discs, "Pristine Smut" (MCA Records). How’d they lure K.D. in the studio? She and Hailey were one of the ’90s power-lesbian couples (Hailey’s relationship is said to have inspired Lang’s disc "Invincible Summer").

But compared to The Murmurs, Uh Huh Her’s sound is considerably matured. In 2006, Hailey paired up with multi-instrumentalist Camila Grey, a singer who has cut tracks with Dr. Dre and Busta Rhymes. But you won’t find many hip-hop influences on their new album "Common Reaction," which won’t be released until Aug. 19. Uh Huh Her — the band’s name is taken from the title of PJ Harvey’s 2004 album — craft a sound with pulsing bass lines, swirling synths and guitar riffs that sound like they were borrowed from old Coldplay albums.

The vocals can’t hold a candle to KD Lang’s, but Hailey and Grey combine their sweet sighs into a nifty ambient mix. Some songs, like "Say So" are even dance-worthy. You can check out a handful of tracks on the band’s MySpace page.

On Sunday, Uh Huh Her plays Dallas. A Texas visit isn’t new for Hailey. A few years ago, she bought a house in Marfa, and in 2005, she founded the indie label Marfa Records. Also in Leisha news: This week, she became the "New Face of Olivia," the lesbian travel company. Uh Huh Her is expected to sail the high seas on some Olivia cruises.

— Daniel A. Kusner

Uh Huh Her perform at The Loft,
1135 S. Lamar. May 4. Doors open at 8:30 p.m.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 2, 2008.
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