This is the KitI don’t trust people who say they like all types of music. That is a pretty, blanket statement. I like food but it doesn’t mean I like eating all food. There will inevitably be some music that I don’t want to listen to. However, I can see the merits of most music even if I don’t particularly like it. A case in point being Folk music which, I sometimes find a little too predictable or twee but never in the case of This is the Kit whose songs, while featuring the standard sound of guitar picking, consistent with most Folk music the feature of brass instruments and clashing harmonies give their songs a lot more fire and unpredictability than other Folk artists.

‘Off Off On’ is their third album after 2017’s ‘Moonshine Freeze’ which, found respect from a variety of musical allegiances (including me). The lead singer (or ‘prime mover’) Kate Stables enjoyed the break from her responsibilities with This is the Kit by going on tour with The National and being a ‘minion’ this gave her a sense of perspective and a chance to recover from a period of ill health where she broke her rib from falling down the stairs and then contracted bronchitis.

‘Off Off On’ was recorded in rural Wiltshire and was finished just before lockdown but, the sound of the album reflects a lot of feelings and issues pertinent to our times such as, loneliness, stress and yep, ill health. The track that is regularly played on 6 Music, ‘This is What You Said’, repetitively taunts the title in clashing harmonies, although it’s gentle enough to sound like playground taunts or the voices you hear in your head when you’re being hard on yourself.

Kate Stables lyrics are delivered in a chant in place of a chorus this sounds like it would be mundane and a bit…. Gregorian but it’s beguiling and strangely uplifting.

This is the Kit are a band overflowing with original ideas and so much of their ethic resonates with me: they are sensitive to the pulses and currents of life without being fey or precious. One of my favourite tracks, ‘Coming to get you Nowhere’ has little nuggets of poetic insight nestled within beautiful music: ‘It’s time to procrastinate fast’ while ‘Carry Us Please’ has a rather more odd take on life, with Stables singing ‘Pick up crap off the ground and throw it back down’ could be a song lambasting the selfish behaviour of litter bugs and it is, sort of. But their view is far wider and berates litter bugs of the planet, the kind Greta Thurnberg rallies against.

This album is wise and memorable for all the right reasons. No, it may not provide songs that have a clear message, but it has a unique depth and sentiments which resonate with both the intellect and the soul. This is a fitting effect for a band who have a collective, cooperative approach to making music but also to life in general and if all Folk sounds like this, then I like all Folk.

This Is The Kit – Off Off On: Out Now (Rough Trade)

When people ask me what music I am in to, I find it very hard to give a definitive answer because, throughout my life I have been in to all kinds of music from House to Heavy Metal. So I can safely say I am open to most things however, I would say that overall my allegiances lie with Electronic music because it covers so many genres and is constantly developing and changing. Having grown up in Manchester my musical tastes have been influenced by nights such as Electric Chair and Mr Scruff which encompasses the sounds of House, Detroit Techno, Disco, Soul, Funk and Hip Hop. As far as bands are concerned, I particularly like bands that are melodic and have a hook and a heart such as Wild Beasts. While living in London in the early noughties, I was also listening to music that didn’t really have a heart, more of a pacemaker. I was listening to Electroclash at nights such as Erol Alkan’s, Trash. I love writing about music and believe you can be honest about why you don’t like something without being disrespectful, a skill I am still learning in real life! But ultimately I understand that music needs to be experienced first, rather than intellectualised but why do one, when you can do both?