This Is The Kit is the much beloved musical project of Kate Stables, born in England and based in Paris, though the heart of their musical community remains in Bristol, UK. Bashed Out is their third album, the result of an extended period collaboration with the record’s producer Aaron Dessner (Sharon Van Etten, Local Natives). Dessner — the co-founder of the Brassland label — is best known for his work in The National and, indeed, the backing band he gathered for Bashed Out combines the talents of This Is The Kit’s touring members (Rozi Plain, Jesse Vernon, Jamie Whitby-Coles), alongside a number of session players drawn from the Brooklyn music scene: Bryce Dessner, Thomas Bartlett (Doveman, The Gloaming), Matt Barrick (The Walkmen) and Ben Lanz (Beirut, The National) all made key instrumental contributions.
As notable as the band, however, is front woman Kate Stables, whose voice hearkens back to the classic singer-songwriter era—her distinctive, cutting vocals up front in the mix. It’s a self-confidence gained since her previous album, 2011’s Wriggle Out the Restless, which has made her band a minor institution in the United Kingdom, especially on BBC radio which has embraced This Is The Kit for their quintessential Britishness. They received BBC 6 Music support across the board, from DJs Lauren Laverne, Radcliffe & Maconie, Marc Riley, Guy Garvey, Cerys Matthews, and Mary Anne Hobbs; at BBC Radio 1, Huw Stephens, Jen & Ally, and Phil Taggart have given the band spins despite being a long way from the station’s remit.
On Bashed Out, the band continue their musical evolution into a synesthetic, shape-shifting entity — quintessentially British, yes, but in a one-of-a-kind eccentric manner. This is music rooted in folk, but encompasses elements of psychedelia, alternative rock, and electronic textures and sensibilities.