In a time when war without end looms on the horizon and impending economic and ecological disaster hangs over us like a Sword of Damocles, it's easy to forget the little things that sustain us. Luckily, there are groups like the Kissing Party to help keep us centered, with songs filled with gentle, buoyant guitar work and hushed vocals carrying an implicit promise of peace, love and understanding. The band's tender ballads recall the Smiths-inflected twee pop of the Sundays and Sarah label artists such as the Field Mice, with an undercurrent of acts like Felt and Belle & Sebastian. Precious but never angsty, the Kissing Party (due this Saturday, April 7, at Leela European Cafe) is one of those bands that have perfected the art of writing songs about falling in love without coming off as trite or saccharine.
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