Six Parts Seven / Good Morning Valentine “Kissing Distance”

Suicide Squeeze Records, 2024

Widescreen Americana beauty.

Six Parts Seven / Good Morning Valentine Kissing Distance cover artSix Parts Seven are a band from Ohio who have been known for their collaborative work, with artists such as Iron and Wine, Modest Mouse and the Black Keys. For the ‘Kissing Distance’ album, they teamed up with fellow Ohio band Good Morning Valentine back in 2007, and recorded the whole thing over the course of two weekend days. 

Given the somewhat haphazard-sounding idea of throwing two bands together and seeing what happens, this is a very unusual and incredibly beautiful record. First thing up, this does not sound improvised at all; it may be predominantly acoustic in feel, but it has been captured with great nuance and richness of tone, with warm, natural tones coming through, and each vocal and instrument being heard clearly – probably helped by the lack of drums and percussion on most tracks. 

Most of all though, the songs and the arrangements are beautifully realised. There is some very high-quality song craft on show here; witness the moving ‘Meditation in D’, which sounds like it might have come from Laurel Canyon in the late 60’s. The acoustic strumming sounds so effortlessly right, and the subtle touches of warm reverb-drenched electric guitar offer little cascading riffs and hooks throughout. 

‘Red Lights’ is another highlight. With the understated relentless rhythm, minor key, and suitably eerie organ, it sounds like it’s sprung from a playlist for a lonely night drive. It’s highly cinematic, and would sound great soundtracking an indie movie. 

There are instrumentals sprinkled throughout the record, but these do not sound like fillers, but rather, weave the whole narrative arc of the record together, and are frequently very beautiful on their own terms. Witness ‘Winter’s Early Moon (part 1)’, which could have been an outtake from the Cowboy Junkies seminal ‘Trinity Sessions’ – seriously deep atmospherics on show.

‘Standing In her Raincoat’ is perhaps the most fragile thing here, even on a record that is generally delicate. The space in the music is just wonderful; it feels like an Americana Cat Stevens song. 

‘Kissing Distance’ is an album that deserves to be listened to in its entirety, with the carefully curated running order intact, probably with headphones too to get the full intimate effect. This feels very much like a record for the dreamers and the searchers, one that could easily become a favourite to the right listener. 


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David D Harper

I certainly enjoyed the clarity of all of the featured sounds, both instrumentally and vocally, and especially the clarity of the lyrics (always detracts when obliged to strain to distinguish the words). I would never have guessed it was two bands synchronising , so Drunk On The Bottle is quite a significant achievement in my estimation. Well done.

Jonathan Smith

Great you enjoyed it, David. I did too, and I wasn’t entirely expecting too, but there’s a lovely sound throughout, and some top notch songs too