Dream-pop artists Kiss Kiss Fantastic (aka Jeremy Mullins and Rachel Levy) have released a beautiful new 11-song LP, “Dark Matter”. The album opener “Stars Over Rodinia” sets the mood with its airy, spacey atmospherics, heavy with romance and yet isolating with it’s distant-sounding vocals. It’s like an astronomic siren call from out there in the depths. But the second song, “Nothing Ever Changes”, quickens the pace, adding a hint of inspired campy 80s-synth nostalgia to its thumping bass beat and rhythmic white noise. There’s a very real and honest solemnity on this record, with it’s tales of static lives and even a highway suicide — but what makes it so engaging is how it’s all wrapped in melodic structures and pretty glistening guitars and electronics. One of the record’s diamonds, “Ticks”, is a song that finds solace in parasitism as metaphor for love. It’s clearly an early candidate for one of the best songs of the year so far. “Miranda” is the silver lining, another love song that finds hope at the end of a relationship. The closing verses are some of the prettier ones on the record, “And the heartbreak is the best/ When it’s with you / I know you’ve waited for so long / For a brand new sound.” There’s something pleasant in the organic nature of songs like “Beautiful Mess”, “Red Velvet Domino” and “Kaspar Hauser”, that seem content just to be, without trying too hard. All four are delicately constructed, unwinding gently like a breeze. The song title references a young German boy from the 1800s, who claimed to have lived most of his life locked in a dark dungeon. His story, true or not, has inspired even the likes of novelist Herman Melville and poet Paul Verlaine. However, Kiss Kiss Fantastic’s track finds a thematic thread similar to that of “Miranda”: finding joy in simply being alive. Read previous posts about Kiss Kiss Fantastic here. You can follow Kiss Kiss Fantastic at facebook and twitter. — David D. Robbins Jr.
Kiss Kiss Fantastic “Ticks”