A lover’s kiss, a goodbye kiss, or une bise (‘a kiss on the cheek’) Mosquito Coast’s debut full-length, Kisses, is about intimate relationships.
The crushing and worrying about reciprocity, heartbreak, guilt, and learning to accept the fleetingness of some romances – and it is set for release worldwide on 18 October 2019.
Mosquito Coast (aka Naomi Robinson and Conor Barton) from Perth, Western Australia were fast-tracked into the Aus music scene in 2015 with the first song they’d ever recorded – Call My Name,…
…which won Triple J’s Unearthed High and reached 101 in the Hottest 100. What followed were singles Commotion, Let’s Be Friends, the Television Love EP, numerous national tours and high profile festival appearances.
Naomi and Conor who now live in different cities (Perth and Melbourne respectively) travelled to New York City to record the album with renowned French producer Nicolas Vernhes, who’s worked with some of the world’s most inspired artists including Moodoïd, The War On Drugs, Animal Collective, Dirty Projectors and Deerhunter.
Nicholas and his Rare Book Room studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn (Mosquito Coast were one of the last bands to record in this legendary space before it closed) had a huge influence on the album’s sound, the duo spending an intense 12 out of 14 days recording.
“The thing we loved about working with Nicholas was that the way he worked enabled us to try out any idea at the drop of a hat,” explains Conor.
“We would sing what we heard the track needed, planning to play it on an instrument later. As it turns out, many of these vocals were left in, like me singing the bass line in ‘Rouge’ giving it a Beach Boys vibe. Because of this, we really explored harmonies a lot more.”
Naomi adds: “Nic’s production had an effect and also the instruments we had access to. There’s a tonne of Roland Juno synth used as both a bass and a pad. The warmness of the synthetic strings was something we were really drawn to. We didn’t think we’d use live piano either, but glad we did!”
The resulting album is delicate and sparse in moments, yet heavily textured and lush in others – every song conveying an overarching silver lining or hazy glimmer of hope.
Many of the tracks evolved from Naomi’s loop recordings with Skipping Girl, Sweet Talking, This Type of Love and Rouge developed at a seaside holiday house in Falcon, Western Australia. Paris, Texas; Lonnie Liston, Wave Interlude and Blue Interlude came later – “all a similar vibe after personal tumultuous times”, Naomi says. Scorpio, Night Call, Goodbye Kiss and How Long were written in Melbourne – just before they headed to NYC.
“’Kisses’ is quite vulnerable and intimate… kind of like being in our bedrooms, but not quite close enough to read our diaries.”
It’s an ode to every person they’ve kissed; a warm and dreamy coming-of-age story designed to be listened to from start to finish, as all great albums arguably should be.