057: Year of the Dragon, Year of the Dog

by Kissing Booth

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YEAR OF THE DRAGON, YEAR OF THE DOG is the fourth release from KISSING BOOTH, the musical pairing of real-life mutual better halves Erin Lovett (Four Eyes) & Patrick Brick (Futo).

First came Kissing Booth Vol. 1 & 2 - initially an experiment in voice-memo improvisation as a means of emotional communication that blossomed into a fruitful working relationship upon Brick's relocation to Athens in early-2014. Then came 2015's "Perfecto", a full-length album of staggering emotional depth following a storyline about a veteran suffering from OCD compulsions and PTSD nightmares after returning home from war. PERFECTO was the project on which the power of their mutual affection was instead turned outward and used as a light of empathy to illuminate the suffering and pains of others. The project earned nods from Gold Flake Paint (UK) and Flagpole Magazine (US) and still looms large as Kissing Booth's heretofore magnum opus.

A year later, we have YEAR OF THE DRAGON, YEAR OF THE DOG :: a five-track exploration of aliens, astrology and - again - love. There is no overarching theme or unifying pretense behind these tracks, but that is not to say that it's a step back in any traceable measure. Rather, Lovett & Brick's lo-fi charm is as intact as ever, maintaining the lilt and bounce of Kissing Booth's signature sparse acoustic arrangement but upping the ante in terms of utilitarian instrumentation. Every overdub seems precise, and no superficial artifice was applied past the point of the song achieving it's own goal of communication.

Lovett is the standout voice here, bringing the pragmatism in both lyric and arrangement from last year's "Welcome to Earth" album under her Four Eyes moniker. Lyrics of emotional high-point "National Anthem" postulate escaping to a remote island with the "quietest national anthem you have ever heard". Surely anyone deafened by the noise of our current political climate wishes they could do the same. Brick seems content to play a secondary role, bolstering these stark songs with occasional Beatles-esque accompaniment on an eclectic variety of instruments. Still, when he finally breaks the wintery mood with closer "When We're 95", it's hard to not simultaneously be reminded of the groups initial lovey-dovey innocence & at the same time be made aware just how much the two have grown in life and in artistic collaboration.

Forever onward
Forward forever
You are my best friend, my partner
We get along
And if we're still in love when we're 95
Let's keep going.

credits

released January 27, 2017

Written and preformed by Erin Lovett and Patrick Brick
Recorded by Patrick Brick*
Artwork by Erin Lovett
Mixed and mastered By Jesse Mangum at The Glow in Athens, Ga.
* "Hale-Bopp 97" recorded by Jesse Magnum at The Glow.

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Marching Banana Athens, Georgia

MARCHING BANANA represents a community of artists based out of Athens, Georgia with a tendency to meld(t) outsider pop with modern DIY home recording spirit.

POP & NOISE. FOUNDED IN 2011.

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