This Is The Kit, long a favorite of US musicians like The National, Sharon Van Etten, and Chris Thile, is poised to break through to a larger fanbase beyond the music intelligentsia with the warm, inviting, and beautifully human Moonshine Freeze.
The band, led by Paris-by-way-of-Bristol vocalist and songwriter Kate Stables along with the core trio of Rozi Plain, Jamie Whitby-Coles, and Neil Smith, as well as a revolving cast of horn players, additional percussionists, strings, and others, worked with producer John Parish on Moonshine Freeze. Parish's known brilliance for capturing a close-mic'ed vocal is felt here: Stables' uniquely-textured voice is brought to the fore, and - following the tradition of exquisitely strange troubadors like Karen Dalton, Will Oldham, or Robert Wyatt - is simply arresting. Stables' chiaroscuro lyrics, and the detailed arrangements that have earned her fans in fellow musicians and thoughtful listeners, are here in full bloom, of course. But the songs themselves encompass more space and volume than ever before, with choruses at once inexplicable as well as singalong; the odd Motown-style horn chart cropping up here and there, in unexpected, but utterly welcome, interludes; sounds that veer from delicate to dusty to swelling in a moment.