Paris-based English folk-pop group This Is the Kit delivers an elegant, seductive cool on Moonshine Freeze | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Music » Concert Preview

Paris-based English folk-pop group This Is the Kit delivers an elegant, seductive cool on Moonshine Freeze

by

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

comment

Until this year I’ve missed out on the beguiling folk-pop crafted by This Is the Kit, the moniker of Paris-based Englishwoman Kate Stables and a rotating cast of musicians from the UK, France, and beyond. The group’s fourth and latest album, Moonshine Freeze (Rough Trade), has led me to catch up on their previous recordings, but nothing I’ve heard quite matches its succinct beauty. Stables sings with a measured grace, melding sophisticated pop phrasing with a crystalline tone straight out of classic British folk tradition. The new record was masterfully produced by longtime PJ Harvey cohort John Parish, who underlines the tension between her controlled voice and twitchy arrangements such those as on “Hotter Colder,” which suggests a modern iteration of Joni Mitchell’s folk-jazz divide. “Two Pence Piece” glows with warmth, a subtle but effective ooh-ooh vocal harmony sandwiched between graceful horn lines casting a gorgeous spell for the singer. Other songs embrace a leaner palette, such as the tender “Easy on the Thieves,” where Stables’s delicate banjo arpeggios are complemented only by muted horns. In every case, her voice remains the center of attention.   v

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  →