Never has lightness been so heavy. Jesse Kivel of Kisses returns to his first act, Princeton, trading his wife’s (Zinzi Edmunds) musical plurality for his twin brother Matt’s compositional genius. The result is Princeton’s sophomore effort, Remembrance of Things to Come, a mashing of dance-pop, classical music and minimalism. Remembrance . . . feels like the soundtrack to a spiritual road movie; an epic journey to a temple of musical worship.
The classical endeavors of “Riches” and the illustrious “Holding Teeth” with it’s munificent layers of strings, piano, reed instruments, bells, xylophones, and even flugelhorn tell of Matt’s compositional visions, while the disco-laden feel of “Grand Rapids,” “To the Alps” and “Oklahoma” speak more to Jesse’s obsessions as an early-eighties apostle. Songs like the Eno/Philip Glass-esque “Phase,” “Louise” and the title track are dreamy, happy and light middle grounds for the brothers, while the bittersweet, tell-tale, seventies style of “Florida” smack of dreamy, cloudless days.
And my type of word economy is woefully insufficient for this album. Its somatic qualities are wistful, swirling and dense. It’s danceable articulations are pensive and cerebral. The very artistic nature of the Kivel brothers and their collaborations with the Los Angeles New Music Ensemble, drummer David Kitz and keyboardist Ben Usen seem other-worldly at times, ushering in a brand new interpretation of music as we know it, all the while striking familiarity at the heart of Western music, past and present. Remembrance of Things to Come is as haunting as it is warm-to-the-touch, making it as emotionally epic as it is musically brilliant.
Princeton will be touring, beginning in late February:
02/22 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
02/27 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
02/28 – Seattle, WA @ Tractor Tavern
03/01 – Salt Lake City, UT @ In the Venue
03/02 – Avon, CO ( Snowball Music Festival)