Thursday, October 08, 2009

The Fix Is In! The Silly Kissers.

The thing about the first-wave of American cutesy indie-pop, the twee-types hosting sock-hops for credit at Evergreen College and singing about cats is that it wasn't any good. Oh, Lord, it was terrible, actually. Those bands are gone, as Belle & Sebastien and Camera Obscura sucked all the helium out of that balloon, and now the musicians live on as Etsy merchants. Or maybe a couple of them struggle on, wearing frumpy minis and vintage go-go boots, trying to sex-up the second act after a dismal first by covering ye-ye songs. (And what a sex-up! Matronly versions of Janeane Garofalo in scratchy polyester!)

Even if newspapers will soon disappear and there's a gigantic floating island of plastic (seriously, how come I only heard about this halfway through September 11th and now I hear about it everywhere?) that kills birds and fish, at least music's pretty damn good in the 21st century. So despite some major twee signifiers (lo-fi recording, dual male & female vocals, cracking voices, lyrics about yearning), Montreal's Silly Kissers transcend the limitations of a genre that, hey, maybe they're not even aware of anyway. So let's say they remind me of Lo-Fi FNK, without excessive programming, and maybe a little of Think About Life.

So, it's really, really good lo-fi synth pop. If the comparisons to Depeche Mode (Dreaming of Me vs. Thinking of You) ring at all true, it's because the Silly Kissers, like early DM (1981's Speak and Spell, for example), have a knack for writing vocal lines and melodies that stick. (And maybe there's a future of international stardom, drug addiction, and an album that mixes brooding ambiguous sexuality and religion with guitars ahead for the Silly Kissers.) Both tracks are from their Halloween Summer EP, which was released this July.

They'll be opening up for the Gossip on October 13th here in Montreal at Theatre National. New Yorkers and industry-types can catch them on October 21st at Arlene's Grocery at CMJ as part of the rolling chamber of indie-rock commerce that is the M for Montreal showcase, along with Beast, Think About Life, We Are Wolves, Malajube & Duchess Says.

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