CMU Playlists

Playlist: Kisses

By | Published on Thursday 27 June 2013


Disco-pop duo Kisses – Jesse Kivel and Zinzi Edmundson – released their second album, ‘Kids In LA’, last month through Splendour. The follow-up to their 2010 debut ‘The Heart Of The Nightlife’, the record was produced by Pete Wiggs of Saint Etienne and Tim Larcombe (who is more commonly found writing songs for the likes of Lana Del Ray and Girls Aloud).

With tour dates upcoming, and a first release (by Chris Thomas) on their own label New Feelings to manage, we added to their workload by asking Kivel to put together a playlist.

He said of his selections: “This playlist is an attempt to gather ten tracks that were root inspirations for me as a songwriter. Each song I stumbled across at different times in my life and helped me either stylistically or structurally as a songwriter. There is no order of importance, as they are all important songs written by brilliant songwriters”.

Subscribe to this playlist on Spotify or listen via multiple sources on Tomahawk, and then read on to find out more about his choices.

01 Arthur Russell – Wild Combination
This Arthur Russell song I first heard coming from my brother’s bedroom in 2007 and I had to know who wrote it. The song is probably at the core of what inspired Kisses to become an actual project.

02 Neil Young – Unknown Legend
I first heard ‘Unknown Legend’ while watching ‘Rachel Getting Married’ (this is embarrassing). Despite my lack of street cred, this is a wonderful song and it impressed me that Neil Young had been making albums for over 20 years when he came up with ‘Harvest Moon’ and this track.

03 John Phillips – Malibu People
‘Malibu People’ was a song I came across while watching an Edie Sedgwick film I had rented from Netflix in my senior year of college. It’s subtle beauty appealed to me and I immediately bought the ‘Wolf King Of LA’ record and never looked back.

04 Paul Simon – Graceland
‘Graceland’ is a classic song on a timeless record. Paul Simon’s lyrics are ultimately what keep me coming back to his songs despite also loving a lot of the production.

05 John Cale – Andalucia
‘Andalucia’ reminds me of my time spent in London with my brother and friend Ben while studying abroad. My brother listened to the album ‘Paris 1919’ constantly and this was the song that jumped out at me because of its sweetness and beautiful melody.

06 Lou Reed – Street Hassle
‘Street Hassle’ is another song I found due to a more contemporary indie film, ‘The Squid And The Whale’. Director Noah Baumbach used the song so perfectly in the movie and I was impressed that Lou Reed had written such an epic song. ‘Street Hassle’ the album is a brilliant record as well, plus Bruce Springsteen throws some guitar on there!

07 David Bowie – Sound And Vision
‘Sound And Vision’ is my favourite Bowie track mainly because I always fall for melodies and that guitar line through the track is always running through my mind whenever I write a song.

08 Joy Division – Atmosphere
Again, ‘Atmosphere’ is my favourite Joy Division song because of its melodic turn and spaciousness. This, along with ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’, explain to me why Joy Division was such an important band and why the loss of Ian Curtis was so tragic in terms of where they were going musically as a group.

09 Will Powers – Adventures In Success
Will Powers is the tongue and cheek side of me and Zinzi which always presents itself in Kisses. Just do yourself a favour and listen to this unsung 80s masterpiece.

10 Elvis Presley – Fools Rush In
‘Fools Rush In’ reminds me of Zinzi and her love of Elvis. It is a particularly striking track and one that gets overplayed but always stays relevant.

Note: We recommend changing your default audio source on Tomahawk, as tracks sourced from SoundCloud may sometimes be incorrect. This can be done in the settings and does not require an account.