1. Kissed Her Little Sister – Sailor
Sentimentality has always been one of my most prevalent traits. I don’t attach either positivity or negativity to that statement as the outcome of either is dependent upon the situation that my romanticised grasping of old straws finds itself in. Due to a mixture of idleness, circumstance and bad decisions I still, at the age of 28, find myself hanging in the ether between childhood and full-blown adulthood and I’m often found helplessly trying to pull myself back in the direction of the former. I’m still drawn to books, films, music and, of course, memories that attached themselves to me when I was still in that glorious period of excitement and belief that occurs somewhere before real-life properly kicks in. Over the past couple of years I’ve yearned to be back there. To play my cards differently. To see the mistakes I was making as I was making them. To live my life in the ways I thought possible when I was growing up and feeling excited at becoming the real version of myself. I had no idea how to look forwards, I always looked back. Then along comes something we call love. And, at the same time, along comes a new collection of pop songs, and the two weave themselves together in the most perfect of ways and you’re left wondering why you ever doubted that that little thing called magic existed. All of a sudden those teenage dreams don’t just seem possible they feel as much a part of you as the clothes on your back and the spark in your eye.
Sailor by Kissed Her Little Sister arrived at a time when I was discovering that love really was something “bigger than mountains” and something that really did feel like electronic moments flying through space; but its appeal isn’t simply restricted to such linear personal boundaries. The songs found on this record – all recorded in the LA bedroom of Jeff Morisano – are so perfectly created, so brilliantly and beautifully crafted, that their appeal far transcends the walls of some soft-hearted idealist.
Infectious melodies fall into your lap from every inch of the record. The instrumentation is always both intriguing and utterly delightful; from the brass-soaked elegance of ‘that was only wasting time’ and ‘i ain’t got a friend’ to the simple harmonica-led paean ‘i am a human being’. Then there are the lyrics. Oh boy, the lyrics. At the very least they are completely inspired, at their best they’re the work of a genius song-writer. Quite how Morisano has managed to cram so many virtuoso verses into one forty-minute record is beyond me. Even the most straight-forward lines such as “my hair is like a dream, I let it down when I sleep. It tangles in to knots, just like all my thoughts” somehow take on far greater meaning within the context of the record.
Going back to my opening gambit, this record does make me reflect upon the past; the nine-minute closing track, Catfish, for example, is akin to a drunken stumble with my best friend as we reminisce about all the great moments we’ve left behind. However, listening to the album doesn’t feel like being stuck in the past; it’s more like a subtle look back over the shoulder as life finally seems to be, not just happening, but growing and flourishing in ways you had never expected. It’s a record to inspire, to delight and to reaffirm your belief that both love and music really can change the world. Maybe not the whole world, but at least your own; and that’s a pretty special thing to believe in.
Words by Tom Johnson
Related: GFP favourite albums; 12-2