Kisses is a Los Angeles-based pop project featuring Jesse Kivel and Zinzi Edmundson.
The band's sophomore release, Kids In LA, is a departure from the luminosity of their first album, focusing instead on the starker wintertime in Southern California. While The Heart of the Nightlife took listeners on a neon-hued journey through Palm Springs at peak vacation season, Kids In LA inverts that thematic motif, opting to explore the empty and slightly-haunted off-season of the vacation world.
Kids In LA was recorded over a year and a half and produced by Saint Etienne's Pete Wiggs and Tim Laracombe. Driven by crisp and thudding drum machines, the record is riddled with the evocative rhythms of late 80s freestyle (Debbie Deb, Lisa Lisa). Paired with lightly-effected guitars and warm analog keyboards, the mood is distinct: cold and anxious, yet rich, inviting, and melodic.
"The sunny but sad dance music from this LA duo suggests Bernard Sumner jamming with Belle and Sebastian. ... Just behind Gorillaz, Foals and RJD2 in a list of the most blogged-about current acts, according to the Hype Machine, are Kisses, a new duo from Los Angeles who specialise in a sort of dreamy, wistful disco with a hint of 70s Guilty Pleasures about it – think Oh Lori by Alessi Brothers worked up into a high gloss by Gino Soccio. The name is revealing – Kisses. It's a reminder that, while funk was about sweat and sex, disco was about yearning and romance, ie ripe for the C86 treatment." --Guardian UK