London-based quintet, The Kissing Time hail from the New York, Chicago, Canada and Devon and possess a charming collection of truly beautiful songs. Imagine a more sexual Automatic-period REM melding Beatles ballads with sweet, West Coast pop amid an array of strings, piano winkles and subtly programmed quirks.
Canadian vocalist and trumpet player Ruth Roberts has a dreamy mid-range vocal and shares singing duties with Devon-born Rufus Wainwright fan, Peter Curtis. His slightly dry, deadpan resonance has a similar ‘honest’ sound to Chris Martin. Everything about The Kissing Time exudes beautiful warmth.
Sung by Roberts, ‘Beautiful Too’ is a slow-burning love ballad rooted in twelve-strings and four-way harmonies. Intricate layers of piano and some imaginative chord progressions balance the typical lovelorn, unrequited romance subject material. The programming adds a modern twang to what would otherwise be a sixties folk tribute. Even better is ‘Come Closer’, a slightly darker, drifting piece, piano led with some dramatic lifts and wonderful harmonies. Curtis’ voice slopes and wanders in a dustier Thom Yorke fashion.
What The Kissing Time lack in ground breaking musical ideas they more than make up for with their style and grasp of melody. An immediate and charming sound, founded in their remarkable vocal arrangements, could see them well on their way alongside other new bands like The Magic Numbers and The Sofa Club.
Check out the band and tunes at thekissingtime.com.