This Is The Kit – Moonshine Freeze

Album Review by Chris Ogden | 03 Jul 2017
Album title: Moonshine Freeze
Artist: This Is The Kit
Label: Rough Trade
Release date: 7 Jul

This Is The Kit, the alternative folk project of Bristol-cum-Paris-based songwriter Kate Stables, has built a reputation over the past decade supporting bands such as The National, Iron & Wine, and Jose González. Moonshine Freeze, Stables’ fourth LP and her first on Rough Trade, sees her working with her live band, and collaborators such as The National’s Aaron Dessner, to deliver a mysterious set of songs inspired by folklore and superstition.

Produced by PJ Harvey’s long-time co-producer John Parish, Moonshine Freeze is a quietly animated record, based around Stables’ banjo picking and her band’s off-kilter rhythms. Starting in gentle folk territory, Moonshine Freeze quickly moves closer to world music, the horns and harmonies of Hotter Colder and the title track being reminiscent of Sufjan Stevens’ joyous earlier output.

While the easy-going nature of Moonshine Freeze makes it very pleasant to listen to, best illustrated by the African-language singing of By My Demon Eye, Stables’ storytelling is similarly light, allowing the album to drift by without much emotional consequence. Even the more arresting tracks, such as Empty No Teeth with its insistent banjo line, don’t bite hard, before the record finally lands with the escalating strum of closer Solid Grease. It all leads to Moonshine Freeze being an enjoyable if low-key listen that consolidates rather than shakes Stables’ current status.

Listen to: Hotter Colder, Moonshine Freeze, Empty No Teeth