i feel a certain appeal is enough

LA duo Kisses (Jesse Kivel of Princeton and Zinzi Edmundson) and their new album The Heart of the Nightlife sound like the names imply – airy, sophisticated, fun, relaxed. Full of breezy jams that are equally at home poolside in the hills or on an open-air dance floor, The Heart of the Nightlife has a chameleonic quality allowing it to shift from day to night, carefree to contemplative.

Eponymous track “Kisses” is smooth and evokes images of white sand beaches and deep blue water. Follow-up “Bermuda” stays on the same path, its bouncy sway and shimmering chimes making it perfect music for cruising among the palms, top down. Middle Eastern themes influence “On the Move” and the album’s instrumental title track. Kivel is responsible for a bulk of the album’s vocals, but Edmundson’s voice comes through on “A Weekend in Brooklyn”.

“Midnight Lover” is has promise, but the repeated phrase “I would like to take you out for a nice steak dinner / just me and you” is ridiculous and an ill fit for the rest of the record. All is forgiven, though, by the inclusion of the stellar track “People Can Do the Most Amazing Things”. Kisses leave the beach behind for the dark of the club. It’s the 80s. As the coked-up horde dances around you, you wipe the tears from your face, staining your lace cutoff gloves with salt and mascara. Swirling lights bounce off the walls, and you realize that everything in your life is falling apart. This is the soundtrack to your life.

The Heart of the Nightlife drops 11.16.10.
Click to download “Bermuda“.

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