Sparkling banjo arpeggios; freak-out saxophone; John Parish’s inventive production; a wealth of strong, beautifully-enunciated vocal melodies – tons has gone into the latest work from Kate Stables, aka This Is The Kit, and all of it is good. Even the album’s song titles pack music (Two Pence Piece; Riddled With Ticks), while Stables’s richly poetic lyrics can be fascinatingly esoteric (“cycles of three triangles are tricky”) or comfortingly colloquial (“What a proper pair of Charlies!”). Fans of Sufjan Stevens’s Carrie & Lowell should fall for Bullet Proof and Easy On The Thieves, and throughout Moonshine Freeze there’s a similarly gratifying sense of a capable artist raising the alt-folk bar. Factor in such disparate touchstones as nursery rhymes, the writings of Ursula Le Guin, and “lives lived out of sync”, and you’ve an absorbing puzzle to pore over.
Watch Kate play the album’s title track at a Rough Trade Session: