I joined the This Is The Kit fan club with her third album. Moonfreeze Shine, her fourth, come out earlier this year and continues the evolution of her acoustic folk ditties into something more plugged and rockier, whilst still staying very much in the folk shire.
Openers “Bullet Proof” and in particular “Hotter Colder” showcase this transition well. The tracks are more punchy, urgent and electric. From the banjo to the guitar and even the saxophone has less softness and more grit to it. It such a subtle change in the production but it really twists the way how each track approaches you. “Hodder Codder” in particular is superbly PJ Harvey like and that’s not really a comparison I’d have thought I’d draw.
Elsewhere, This Is The Kit has also found a groove with the title track having a sexy beat and plenty of xylophone embellishment and warm vocals to enjoy. She has always had some great percussion but this pushes things away from the wooden to the produced. Those worried about her barnyard behaviour going need not worry though as “Easy on the Thieves” is a beautiful banjo led track that is delicate and full of the bands’ lyrical quirks. I think there’s a requirement every album to get a reference to calling someone a Charlie or something so English it would be wasted on non-natives. From the sultry smooth guitar side of things “All Written Out In Numbers” is quintessential This Is the Kit and rocks in its dreamlike folk silkiness. However even in these songs, just like the amazing “Empty No Teeth” there’s still that thread of urgency and drama that was not really present before because of that extra grunt in the electric guitar, bass and production.
“Riddled With Ticks” moves towards the ballad side of things with a sad and descriptive track as defiantly “we’ll fight, you’ll lose” over soft strings and rubbery guitar. “Two Pence Piece” is similarly chilled out even if the chords aren’t always as chilled as the music would lead you to believe and it works well with the only true quiet track on the album “Show Me So” with its lush piano and guitar work. “By My Demons Eye” returns to the fast pace as we summon demons in the chorus in a quick-fire chant and after that jig we round off with the rousing and spectacular finale of “Solid Grease” that grows and grows into a fanfare goodbye.
This Is The Kit’s kitsch lyrics, smooth melodies and this time round gruntier production are an absolute winner. This step forward in musical complexity really has reignited my appreciation for what she does because it is very her, yet more layered. Superb!
Recommended Track : Hotter Colder