Soundcheck: Kisses

KissesAs music can hit some pretty large chords, Soundcheck is a feature piece that spotlights today’s best artists and their favourites, firsts and a few uncommon bits. It’s hard to call Jesse Kivel and Zinzi Edmundson indie pop veterans but the partners-in-crime have turned KISSES into a L.A. project that stings with the strong understanding of how to stylize music with imagery. Their new Kids In L.A. LP is out in a few days (May 14th on Cascine) and this week, we spoke to Kivel about Rhye’s classic combination, the Seinfeld theme song, and how the duo raided the country for the kind of pinewood that completes album covers. Spoiler alert: you absolutely need more knotty pine in your life.

The Greatest Britpop Song Of All-Time.

I’d say Oasis’“Live Forever”. Oasis were one of the first bands to inspire me to write music and become a rock icon. The latter half never quite panned out but I still have much love for that group.

One Record That Reminds Me Of College.

The Strokes’ Room On Fire; I can visualize my freshman year where I was teaching myself to sing in tune to this entire LP. Julian Casablancas’ singing style is great for learning pitch.

The Most Underrated Pop Artist Of All-Time.

Pop implies popular! With that said, I would have to say Arthur Russell. His music was so ahead of its time with hooks, emotion and an amazing style.

The Last Great Concert I’ve Been To.

It would have to be Steve Reich at the Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles. His pieces are long and mesmerizing plus the venue itself is gorgeous.

One Instrument I’ll Always Cherish Forever.

My cream Fender Jazzmaster reissue. I bought it nearly ten years ago and I have never used another guitar!

My Favourite Music Video.

Rhye’s “The Fall” is my latest favourite. I love the sustained mood of the video as well as the acting performances. I’m also a fan of Robert Palmer’s “Johnny And Mary” video.

How I’d Describe The Artwork For Kids In L.A. Using Two Words.

Wood paneling – we searched high and low for a room with the right type of knotty pine and we finally found one in a friend’s back house.

My Favourite New Songs From This Year.

Rhye’s “3 Days” for sure. The track is just so clean in the best possible way; beautiful percussion and synths paired with amazing vocals. It’s really a classic combination. Classixx’s “Holding On” is great too as they’re my buddies and they have made a great record. This track is amazing for the dancefloor.

The One Place I’d Hold A Festival Curated By Me.

I would probably have it take place in Small Point, Maine where we usually spend our summers. For a headliner, I would have to go with Sade because why not?

The Best Song To End A DJ Set With.

Either the Seinfeld theme song or “Sleepwalk” by Santo & Johnny. One because of its haunting beauty and the other because it can clear a room quick and be funny at the same time.

Three Artists I’d Love To Remix Before 2013 Is Over.

Rhye, Kings Of Convenience and Superhumanoids. All of these artists have songs of their latest LP’s that I think are great pieces of songwriting that I would like to mess with and explore.

My Personal Role Model.

Probably Rafter Roberts. He makes music without compromise and makes a living with a licensing company in San Diego. He has a family, he has music, and he has a ton of creativity in both parts of his life. Overall, he’s a great guy.

One Song That Defines My Life And Who I Am.

It’d be Arthur Russell’s “Wild Combination”. This song just vividly takes me to a time when I was living in Eagle Rock and it helped shape the beginning sounds of Kisses. It also helped me find a voice.

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