Photo Credit: Marlon Mara-LeNoble
There is a lot on ‘Black Hole Era’ by Kisskadee that will have many feeling seen. That is especially true of those of us who’ve felt the unnerving wave of solitude in recent years and have struggled with the reality of our social circle growing smaller as we grow older. We talked about all of that and then some, including the new album that’s available now on Anxiety Blanket Records.
Kendra: There hasn’t been a ton of time that’s passed between ‘Ambient Music for Bedrooms’ and ‘Black Hole Era’ but they feel like freshman and senior year. Like you were getting your footing with one and this one, you’re out here writing the thesis to graduate. What made you go so high-concept with this release?
Kisskadee: Ambient Music for Bedrooms wasn’t even supposed to be a real record. I needed space on my pedalboard so I uploaded everything onto my computer. It was at the beginning of the pandemic when everyone was focusing on their art, but at the same time, nothing felt too serious because the music scene was dead. Then I was like hey this is sort of alright, I’ll release it for Bandcamp Friday and maybe make a couple of bucks, and who cares anyway. People ended up really liking it and being so sweet so Anxiety Blanket decided to re-release it and make some tapes. They’re the best <3
However, ‘Black Hole Era’ has always been the kind of record I wanted to release. I’ve been writing songs like that for years and finally had the chance to record it the way I wanted to meet people who could play the instruments I wanted and arrangements I wanted, as well as meeting really talented engineers- I finally felt empowered to create the record that was always brewing in my mind.
Kendra: Because you’re diving into some introspective type of thinking with this album. I felt 100% read when you noted how this album deals with the idea that our social circles continuously expand throughout life and then at some point when we’re older, like the universe…the shrinkage begins. I just moved from California to Virginia, leaving everyone I’ve ever known and yeah, I have zero clue how to make a friend in my mid-30s. Why do you think that’s a common struggle for many? Aside from COVID warping our social skills.
Kisskadee: That’s a great question. I think it’s just….”society, man.” We’re born into the nuclear family, we go to school and see hundreds of people every day, and we make friends. Then we go back into our holes to create our own little nuclear family. Unless you never find a partner, then you’re lonely and fucked and lose the sense of being loved, because there’s very little community built into the structure of adult life. Then we get old and end up alone in a nursing home before meeting our maker. That’s what the record is about, but it’s just way more eloquent.
That sounded really depressing. I meet most of my friends in music or 12-step meetings. Those are my communities. Lonely? Choose an addiction and go to a meeting! Instant community. I’m very blessed. I love the people in my life so much. But hey, I’m not 30 yet. God bless you.
Kendra: Let’s talk about “Brother,” more so the video. It gave me ‘80s home movie meets public access channel. Were you the mastermind behind the treatment?
Kisskadee: No! My boyfriend, Evan Sharma, made and directed it! I mean, some scenes were my idea of course. Speaking of meeting people, I met him at a show opening for his band. Now we’re in the most ridiculous long-distance relationship, in different countries and on opposite coasts.
Kendra: Speaking of home movies, you also noted how ‘Black Hole Era’ goes in on the lonely longing of adulthood. Do you think that we’re experiencing more loneliness in millennials and Gen Z because we’ve been able to capture more of our memories to look back on via social media and the internet compared to our parents who only had pictures and home movies, and our grandparents who only had photos?
Kisskadee: Yes, but there’s a humanity in that. I think we are so scared of moments passing us by that we are trying to capture them all. But then we lend more energy to capturing them than actually experiencing them, and then even sharing them and being seen by outsiders experiencing them, and that leads to a whole lot of insidious isolation. When we care more about how we appear than how we feel, we care more about strangers than the people closest to us. Lonely!
Kendra: Time for a side note…since April showers bring May flowers, I’d love to know what song makes you bloom with happiness and why?
Kisskadee: Anything by Fairuz. I was so nervous for my show last night I threw up, but then I put on Fairuz in the venue really loud and pretended it was my Lebanese wedding and danced like an idiot in front of a bunch of confused white people between sets and everything was great.
Kendra: Lastly, with ‘Black Hole Era’ out on May 6th, what else can you let us in on? Are you touring this year?
Kisskadee: I’m playing some Southern California dates in June…A tour up the coast may or may not be in the works.