Does anyone else concur when I say bands are no longer given the chance to grow and develop? Thanks to the power of the internet it doesn’t seem like two minutes since the moment a new music tropue is brought to our attention to the moment they’re again thrust into the spotlight with a debut LP to boot. At the grand age of 17, to even attempt to talk about the ‘old days of the music biz’ so to speak, would be incredibly naive of me, but the times when bands were being given a chance to discover what does and doesn’t work for them a la Fleetwood Mac, seem well and truly over.
Luckily, for LA duo Kisses they aren’t one of those that need to time to blossom, with their debut LP The Heart Of The Nightlight being a balearic electro-pop treat, the majority of the 36 minutes being an effortless display of how quickly things can come together. Most of you will be familiar of the musical partnership that is Jesse Kivel and Zinzi Edmundson - they’ve been a regular feature on these digital pages with their recent singles ‘Bermuda’ and ‘People Can Do The Most Amazing Things’ pretty much knocking everyone for six. Both tracks sound like they come straight from an 80′s American high-school disco but with a Swedish twist, and it’s this unorthodox international mix of sounds that’s the foundations of their long-before leaked debut, with none of the 9 tracks really straying from this already established hypnagogic pop formula.
And that’s kind of the problem. For those who aren’t me and who didn’t fall for Kisses’ nostalgic allure when listening to their singles the first time around, this album isn’t going to change your perspective. Even if Kisses do pull this whole 80′s pop renaissance movement ridiculously well, which they do – see LP opener ’Kisses’ for it’s rhythmic handclaps, lush keyboard riffs and over-lapped samples, ‘On The Move’ is ‘People…’ more danceable cousin, however it’s ‘A Weekend In Brooklyn’ where the Kisses are at their most hook-fashioning. This is mainly down to the shared vocals between the two partners – Zinzi’s girly tone offering a new more welcome dynamic to the song, and suggests that maybe Jesse shouldn’t the vocal focus all the time.
It’s an LP that’s similar to the self-titled debut fellow Americans The Drums released earlier on in the year, in the sense that both of their musical output borrows heavily from the past, The Drums using C-86 as inspiration and Kisses using the sounds of 70′s/80′s disco as a sonic template. Both using their influences to create genuinely great but simple pop songs but nothing more.