Kino Kimino has released a new single, “Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover”, a cover of the Sophie B. Hawkins 1992 hit by the same name. The art-punk quartet led by the idiosyncratic Kim Talon and featuring Sonic Youth members Lee Ranaldo and Steve Shelley, released their first LP, Bait Is for Sissies, earlier this month. Former drummer for Ben Harper and Ringo Starr, Son of Stan, is a featured collaborator.
Like their promising debut LP, the new single features flawless production from studio veteran John Agnello. Their cover replaces the late 80’s flavored synths used by Sophie B. Hawkins with muted, shuffling drums and rhythmic tambourine. The song’s steady rhythm, grounded in Roxy Music-like keyboards, eventually gives way to a guitar-dominated crescendo, yet remains rather calm in comparison to Hawkins original.
Talon’s voice, seemingly familiar and yet startlingly unique, hovers over the vocals with precision. She manages to convey the song’s message of romantic devotion without employing Hawkins’ theatrics. Intriguingly, Kino Kimino remains a Kim Talon project first and foremost. The skill of Ranaldo and Shelley is clearly evident, yet their influence on the project is rather minimal in comparison to Talon’s.