Bootleg Theater Presents
Jesse Kivel Residency
Matt Kivel, Wellness, Chris Byrne (DJ)
2220 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90057
This event is 21 and over
Jesse Kivel, who you may know from Kisses and Princeton, is prepping his first solo record, an EP titled Content. It’s his first record since Kisses’ 2015 LP Rest in Paradise and he says this one was a difficult birth. “It’s taken me almost 3 years to finish 5 songs. I had a child, started a company, bought a home with a 2-car garage, and am in an ever-changing 11-year relationship. But am I content?,” he ponders in the LP’s press release. “My music has never taken longer to complete, but this new depth of time altered me. It slowed me. My mind calmed and my heart eased its pulse.”
Kivel made the record with Russ Manning (Rush Midnight), Victoria Bergsman (Concretes) and others, and sites jazz fusion, Kings of Convenience, Kamasi Washington, and Steely Dan among the influences, and you can hear those on the genuinely lovely, deep-shag groovy first single “LA Story.”
Los Angeles-based songwriter Matt Kivel got his start working as a player in various bands during the first decade of the 2000s. Around 2013, Kivel quit playing with other bands to focus on his solo material. The first evidence of his work came in the form of some limited-run cassettes, but he truly came into his own with 2013's full-length album Double Exposure, released on the Olde English Spelling Bee (Julian Lynch, Ducktails) label. Kivel's solo work took a decidedly more subdued path than his previous affiliations, with shimmering ambient synths meeting muted acoustic songwriting and understated vocals. Second album Days of Being Wild, recorded with Palace Brothers member Paul Oldham over the course of the previous summer, saw release on the Woodsist label in 2014. The record found Kivel stretching out a bit more, both compositionally, and in his arrangements, which introduced more rhythm, pulse, and melodic texture.
In late 2015, Kivel joined songwriter Alasdair Roberts (Drag City) in his native city of Glasgow, Scotland, to record his third full-length album “Janus.” Roberts produced the project, and assembled a stylistically diverse supporting cast of local musicians to supplement Kivel’s desolate, acoustic songs. Over 11 musicians contributed to the music on the album, and their improvisations and sensitive instrumental interplay draw from the realms of avant jazz, traditional folk, classical, outre experimentalism, and straightforward melodic pop. Kivel’s vocals are pushed to the front and his lyrics cut clearly through the shifting instrumental backdrops. The album is simultaneously calm, warm, and uneasy. Never far from darkness.
Jordan Gatesmith of Howler/Total Babe has a new project. And this
is it boiiiiiis and grrrrrls.