Okay, I’ll admit “Kiss the Night Away” is a corny title. It suggests that sticky saccharin drip that tends to coat a lot of pop music, which isn’t really my thing. And if Spotify didn’t toss it into my Discovery Weekly playlist last week, I undoubtedly would’ve missed it, or skipped it, based on name alone. Fortunately, things didn’t swing that way, and instead, I heard it blindly, all the while thinking to myself, wow, these vocals sound totally familiar.
Turns out they were, straight from Justin Warfield, one half of San Fernando’s darkwave indie rock outfit She Wants Revenge, who I used to listen to quite a bit back around 2006-08. I thought I’d heard everything from these post-punk/goth-influenced artists. They’ve got three albums, all super-easy to digest, the self-titled debut remaining my favorite. And I’ve caught their live show a few times since, the last one being 2017’s Cloak and Dagger festival, curated by the band’s other half, Adam Bravin. So I’m a bit surprised I missed this one.
“Kiss the Night Away” is tagged as a B-side. It never made it to album, nor did it ever end up as a literal B-side to an official single. But in 2012, it snuck out anyway, right as the band was taking an “indefinite” hiatus. I’m guessing that’s probably why it bypassed my ear-sights. Either that, or I just wasn’t paying attention. That’s like 7 years ago, so who the hell knows.
Anyway, She Wants Revenge reunited in 2015 to celebrate their 10th anniversary, tackling the aforementioned debut in its entirety, as well as a healthy selection of subsequent singles and back-catalogue gems. They continue to perform regularly throughout the Southland, with a prominent billing at the newly-minted Just Like Heaven festival, taking place May 3-4 in Long Beach. Maybe I’ll get the opportunity to hear them perform “Kiss the Night Away” on one of those two dates. I don’t recall hearing it at any of their post-reunion shows I attended. But memory’s a funny thing and I could be wrong.
That said, I’m still a little bummed to be late to this particular party, perceived or otherwise. Despite all its pop overtures, “Kiss the Night Away” is actually a pretty infectious little upbeat darkwave tune. And I totally would’ve played it to death back then, even though it’s far less broody and moody than the typical She Wants Revenge fare … which I happen to love, by the way.
Nevertheless, it’s not often I’m surprised by something I thought I knew well enough to not be surprised by, if that makes any sense. I’m gonna have to stop there. There’s a lightning storm outside my window that’s incredibly close, and getting closer… and it’s frighteningly fierce, meaning I might lose power.
Try out this lighter side to She Wants Revenge with their post-pop romance “Kiss the Night Away.” Enjoy and goodnight!
“Kiss the Night Away” from the 2012 single.