Kisses, LA Luz

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

Featuring Shana Cleveland (guitar), Marian Li Pino (drums), Abbey Blackwell (bass), and Alice Sandahl (keyboards); the group brings a relaxed beach-babe vibe to their take on the sweet, thick harmonies of 60's girl-group, garage, and doo-wop bands. Born in the Summer of 2012, La Luz is driven by thumping, energetic bass lines, danceable surf beats, trembling organ, reverb-soaked guitar, and a wild love of rock 'n' roll. The band recorded their first EP Damp Face with the help of their friend Johnny Goss in a sweaty apartment across from the laundry room in a Bothell, WA trailer park. The initial run of 100 home-dubbed cassettes sold out after the bands' first few shows and in February 2013, Burger Records re-popped the cassette. A full length record is now in the works and La Luz looks forward to inspiring damp-faced dance parties in clubs, basements, theaters, and backyard seances all over the world!

Verdigrls (formerly Velveteens)

Sad-Grl-electro-pop-duo, Verdigrls are a band newly based out of NYC and currently signed to Manimal Vinyl (Heliotropes, Warpaint, Rainbow Arabia, Sister Crayon etc.) They are a young and deeply unconventional band who set out to form our musical identities and are both classically trained in violin and cello respectively. Catherine's obsessions with 60's girl groups and Morrissey with elements of The Raincoats, along withn Anna's strong background in classical theory and both of their fascination with electronic music makes something slightly idiosyncratic. Along with poetic lyricism, haunting harmonies and unusual instrumentation, a captivating sound is formed. Most recently Brooklyn Vegan, premiered the music video for their latest single, Feeling Nervous and their EP was released last month.

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Kisses, LA Luz with Verdigrls (formerly Velveteens)

Wednesday, July 17 · 9:00 PM at BAR