Tuesday marks the 20th anniversary of She’s All That, the rom-com in which Laney Boggs (Rachel Leigh Cook) is transformed from a solitary art student into a prom queen candidate with the help of popular jock Zach Siler (Freddie Prinze Jr.). That means it’s been two decades since the song “Kiss Me” was used to highlight Laney’s transformation, launching Sixpence None the Richer into the mainstream spotlight.
But before it was the soundtrack to Laney’s metamorphosis, “Kiss Me” was a draft of a song written in a Netherlands motel.
“We had been in the rooms for maybe an hour when my partner in Sixpence, Matt Slocum, called me like, ‘Hey wanna come down here? I’ve got a new song,’” singer Leigh Nash remembers. “We were on tour over there, and we had a show that night at Flevo Festival. We performed it that night! I went down into his room and learned it. It was an instant hit with fans, but it was still like a year and a half before we recorded it.”
“Kiss Me” had a significantly cheerier, poppier sound than much of the band’s prior work (though Nash says early drafts had slightly edgier lyrics, with “cigarettes” sparkling rather than the “silver moon”). As a result, the band was actually reluctant to include it on their 1997 self-titled album until their producer convinced them otherwise.
The song ended up being a perfect fit for the 1999 romantic comedy. As Nash says, “It was so light and innocent, and certain aspects of that movie were really sweet. It was almost like tailor-made for that walk down the stairs.”
These days, Nash is a singer-songwriter who writes and records her own material, but even so, she can’t escape the pull of “Kiss Me.” On top of still hearing it in public places like grocery stores, Nash recorded a solo cover of “Kiss Me” for an EP last year that was sold only at her shows. She’s now working on a new solo album, due for release this spring (fans can find updates about that at her website).
“I play it live in my sets now. It’s really wild because I’m like a singer-songwriter type person now, but back then I didn’t write songs,” Nash says. “So it’s weird to come up and play these really deep songs and then break up the set with ‘Kiss Me’ and ‘There She Goes.’ It’s fun and weird. Revisiting that cover was fun. I was amazed at how similar my voice sounds. I guess there’s a bit more depth to it. I think fans have been appreciating it as well. I like the way my voice sounds now better. I started singing in Sixpence in ‘92 or something, when I was 15. I hear that voice and think, wow why would anyone want to hear that? But I’m thankful they did.”