THIS IS THE KIT

Gen­tly hex­ing in­can­ta­tory folk splen­dour from a Hamp­shire Parisian.

Mojo (UK) - - News -

Artists in­clud­ing The Na­tional, Sharon Van Et­ten and El­bow’s Guy Gar­vey have long been ad­vo­cates for This Is The Kit’s spry lat­ter-day folk mu­sic. More ad­mir­ers should come fly­ing from the for­est with Moon­shine Freeze, the en­sem­ble’s fourth al­bum and their first for Rough Trade. This Is The Kit centre on Kate Sta­bles, who grew up in Winch­ester in Hamp­shire and who has now lived in Paris for over a decade – along with hus­band and group gui­tarist Jesse D Ver­non. Kate is half of one of the two sets of twins pro­duced by her school-teacher par­ents. “My fa­ther was al­ways mak­ing and play­ing in­stru­ments,” says Kate. “Mum would play fid­dle and man­dolin and they’d be the band at the lo­cal barn dance. When I was learn­ing to play gui­tar I’d qui­etly join in. That was what I grew up on – and Bob Dy­lan and English and Amer­i­can folk stuff.” Amid its calm and poise the Moon­shine Freeze al­bum qui­etly ac­crues stylis­tic va­ri­ety. The track Hot­ter Colder con­nects with mem­o­ries of swim­ming at Dur­dle Door in Dorset, set to a gen­tler take on a Nir­vana riff. Kate’s love of non-Euro­pean tribal grooves also thrums in the back­ground, while the track My De­mon Eyes draws on an al­bum by the eth­no­mu­si­col­o­gist Hugh Tracey, who col­lected African songs and sto­ries through the 1950s. But Kate’s im­mer­sion in Bri­tish folk comes to the fore on All Writ­ten Out In Num­bers, which fea­tures lines from the old English folk song Green Grow The Rushes, O. “I’m a bit of a scav­enger,” says Kate. “Things get stuck in my head and I end up putting them in songs. Green Grow The Rushes was to­tally a fam­ily song – on fam­ily car jour­neys. When our daugh­ter was lit­tle it was some­thing that would get her to sleep. She’s still up for a bit of Green Grow The Rushes, along­side Bey­oncé.” The new This Is The Kit al­bum was pro­duced by PJ Har­vey col­lab­o­ra­tor John Par­ish, who also worked on 2008 de­but Krülle Bol. The band’s name is part rooted in the group’s his­toric flex­i­bil­ity. “Partly,” says Kate, “the name comes from the way a lot of peo­ple call me Kit. And also I never wanted it to be a fixed project.” That said, these days the group’s per­son­nel is more fixed, with fel­low Winch­ester singer Rozi Plain a reg­u­lar foil on bass. Moon­shine Freeze’s ti­tle, mean­while, comes from a chil­dren’s clap­ping game – a non­sense song that’s mor­phed across the years. “The rep­e­ti­tion of cer­tain vow­els and con­so­nants just has an ef­fect on me,” says Kate. “In the clap­ping song I really liked the way you had to say ‘moon­shine, moon­shine, moon­shine’ three times and then ‘freeze’. I feel like in life we need that – we just need to freeze some­times.” Roy Wilkin­son

Plenty of pluck: Kate Sta­bles AKA This Is The Kit, freez­ing.

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