This is The Kit have shared new single “Was Magician” and a live performance video of the track, from upcoming album Off Off On, out on Rough Trade Records on October 23rd, 2020.
The video was recorded and filmed by Lyon Sound and Vision at L’Epicerie Morderne in France and remotely directed from NYC by Marisa Gesualdi…
“Was Magician” is both a wander through the books of author Ursula K. Le Guin and a meditation on the gifts and powers that people have, and what happens when they are underestimated. This Is The Kit’s Kate Stables explains, “Often it’s children who have underestimated powers. They have an understanding and wisdom about things that we think beyond their abilities, they are often leaps and bounds ahead of the ‘adults’. People like Greta Thunberg – the young people who we have borrowed the earth from and who we have to give it back to, and hope that they will take better care of it than we have.”
Stables worked on Off Off On with producer Josh Kaufman, New York-based member of Bonny Light Horseman & Muzz, who has also collaborated with The Hold Steady, The National and most recently Taylor Swift. The two first met when working with Anaïs Mitchell on a cover of the Osibisa song “Woyaya”, their paths later crossing at the PEOPLE residencies in Berlin and Brooklyn.
“We were on the same page about a lot of musical ideas, as well as doing things I wouldn’t do musically,” Stables explains of working with Kaufman. “It was a lovely mixture of ‘you’re exactly in my brain and exactly at the opposite end of my brain.’” The band, completed by Rozi Plain (bass/vocals), Neil Smith (guitar), Jesse D Vernon (guitar, keyboards), Jamie Whitby-Coles (drums/vox) recorded Off Off On in Wiltshire, UK’s Real World Studios, finishing just in time for everyone to get home before lockdown began in March.
Since 2008’s debut album Krulle Bol, This Is the Kit have unpicked emotional knots and woven remarkable stories, but even by their high standards, Off Off On is a beautifully clear distillation of Stables’ song-writing gifts. By the end of 2018, This Is the Kit had finished touring their last album, Moonshine Freeze, but Stables’ natural impulse to start the next record was diverted when she was invited to join The National on tour – a continuation of the role she took on their album I Am Easy to Find.
“I think it did me loads of good,” laughs Stables. “It was so brilliant when I was writing to be away from my songs and the responsibility of overseeing a band or a project – just to forget about that for a while and be a minion in someone else’s band was brilliant, I loved it. I think it really helped my writing and my getting through whatever I needed to get through.”
After the band – completed by Rozi Plain (bass/vocals), Neil Smith (guitar), Jesse D Vernon (guitar, keyboards), Jamie Whitby-Coles (drum/vox), – reunited for the cold-water rehearsals in Wales, they headed to Wiltshire’s Real World Studios, just finishing in time for everyone to get home for lockdown.
2021 tour dates have also been recently announced – all fingers crossed the following UK dates go ahead….
13 Mar – The Railway Inn, Winchester Matinee Show
13 Mar – The Railway Inn, Winchester Evening Show
14 Mar – New Kind of Neighbourhood, This is the Kit & Friends, Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
16 Mar – Lancaster Library, Lancaster
17 Mar – Junction, Cambridge
18 Mar – De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill
19 Mar – Tramshed, Cardiff
20 Mar – The Citadel, York
21 Mar – The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh
23 Mar – The Cluny, Newcastle
24 Mar – RNCM Concert Hall, Manchester
25 Mar – Button Factory, Dublin, IE
26 Mar – Live Rooms, Chester
27 Mar – Birmingham Town Hall, Birmingham
28 Mar – Arts Centre, Norwich
29 Mar – Saint Laurence Church, Reading
01 Apr – Royal Albert Hall, London