Gem#005: Kitty Kitten Kristmas

KingGem Release#005

“Kitty Kitten Kristmas”



The idea of having a Christmas compilation in my label started long before I even thought about having a label itself. It was Christmas 2008, when Alessandro Paderno, from The Man Avec Les Lunettes asked me to gather some Japanese artists to arrange a Christmas EP. This proposal came out of the blue during a radio show called Geek Radio I co-hosted for a special “Sweden Vs Japan Christmas”.

It was so that on Christmas 2009 Tiny Tide composed “XMARS Time”, a psy-folk song on how Wayne Coyne from Flaming Lips having a very peculiar Christmas Time on Mars. The song was featured on the “Green Light Xmas” EP along with contributions from the Japanese bands Clownfish, Hajimepop and Ayumi Nishina. My promise to Alessandro was fulfilled.

During a Tiny Tide band practice rehearsal around x-mas time, Mike Leffe was quite upset I made a Christmas song without him, and told me this story about an unknown girl seducing him and leaving our poor drummer the very day after Christmas without leaving any trace after having  sex with him. He then asked me to put this experience into a song. Another Christmas promise was on the go, and this lead us to our compilation: Kitty Kitten Kristmas, and Tiny Tide track “Left Alone For Christmas”.

Blame it on this video. The name “Kitty Kitten Kristmas” came out one night on a conversation with Paola Dutti, who was so kind to take care of the art of this Christmas EP. One of the name on the go were “Yaks Xmas”, so be thankful with what you got :)

With me dreaming about being the Keygo Oyamada of situation I have to say that Matt Williasm a.k.a. The Brigadier (UK) is revealing himself as a genuine Louis Philippe, thanks to his original and unfailing choirs and his unique easy listening melodic and unpredictable taste. His “M.I.S.T.L.E.T.O.E.” is a funny ballad about private Christmas parties with clever Beatles references.

Cherry Berry was meant to be some sort of secret project, and somehow still is. When Mark Berry asked Sara what would have been the title of a would be Cherry Berry song, the answer was as quick as clear:”We HAVE to make it! Of course we’ll name it… Berry Xmas!”. So Christmas spoiled their plain to show off with the whole album to reveal their project to the World!

“Berry Xmas” started with the possibly unreliable news that The Brigadier had ordered a special toy from E-Bay for his song. Bizarre enough both Cherry Berry and Paisley & Charlie sampled the same Christmas toy for their songs! P&C provided such an amazing song, that would have really fitted in on a Trattoria Records compilation. The band comes from Brighton, and have ruled the small stages of Indietracks. It’s a really nice addiction to KinGem Records rooster.

Talking about “being nice”, the almost as well mysterious “A Nice Person” is yet another novelty for this label. The presence of this guy with a Belle &  Sebastianesque track “Holly turns to grey” is a MUST CHECK for Christmas, since Mr. Nice usually plays only a live show a year for Christmas since… ages! This guy and his live band The Magic Mushrooms are some kind of institution in Romagna. Sort of an urban legend, possibly not anymore after this debut.

As Anthony Rochester had the occasion to fix his Hammond organ and do some recordings on “Berry Xmas”, its fascinating  how André from Stars in Coma did quite the same with his new piano for his charming ballad “The Frozen Spectacle”. This is a very special Christmas song trying to catch the true essence of this festive day, possibly directly influenced by the piano style of Joni Mitchell and the spirit of John Lennon.

“Boring Field Trip” is The Clever Square‘s final pun on Christmas in the way “Her Majesty” was for the end of “Abbey Road”. This Christmas indie pop compilation was also an occasion to discover that Gec (singer and guitar player) has a notebook in which he has collected all their songs. And I’m not talking Apple!

Here’s a little preview of the compilation.

Stars in Coma – The Frozen Spectacle by Kingem Records

Kitty Kitten Kristmas

01 – Left Alone For Christmas
Tiny Tide

02 – M.I.S.T.L.E.T.O.E.
The Brigadie

03 – Berry Xmas
Cherry Berry (w/ Anthony Rochester)

04 – Unhappy New Year
Paisley & Charlie

05 – Holly turns to grey
A Nice Person

06 – The Frozen Spectacle
Stars in Coma

07 – Boring Field Trip
The Clever Square

08 – Berry Xmas (Acoustic Version)
Cherry Berry

Cover Art by Paola Dutti (IT)