November 29, 2016

This Is The Kit's holiday single, new videos & final Bashed Out tour dates

This Is The Kit have finally wrapped up their tour dates in support of 2015's most excellent Bashed Out, the BBC approved '6 Music Album-of-the-Year' which we've been flogging at you for about 16 months now...and which we will continue flogging for years to come! Ah the record industry, wherein constant pestering is somehow transmogrified into beloved backcatalog and expanded deluxe editions on every 5 and/or 10 year anniversary. *sigh*

Speaking of which, earlier this month we released a holiday single by This Is The Kit, consisting of two covers that put their unique pan-European folk-rock-but-more-uncategorizable-than-that spin on the season. And without further adieu, take a listen:

The first song is "Christmas Time Is Here"; you may recall it first appeared on an Amazon-exclusive holiday compilation a few years back. It will now be available on all digital platforms: Spotify, Apple Music, Bandcamp, Tidal, and Various Apps & Sites Which Shall Not Be Named (for lack of space or willpower). The song itself was first heard in 1965's Peanuts animated special A Charlie Brown Christmas. (That's only one year after The Beatles stormed America. O geez, pop culture is old!) On the flip is a new recording exclusive to this single — "La Peregrinación." It may be less familiar to North American ears. Written by Argentine composer Ariel Ramirez this is an English language translation given a psychedelic arrangement.

Says the band's songwriter Kate Stables: "Christmas can be a good time for indulging in a dose or two of nostalgia, so i thought it'd be fun to use some old family Christmas photos for this release. Christmas with my twin sister and two older sisters was the the bestest of times, so it's nice to revisit those times, when we all fitted under one roof together." Indeed, we've pulled out all the (digital) stops on the single's artwork — creating a vibe that mashes-up aspects of our previous TITK releases: the hand-stitched photography of Wriggle Out the Restless — the hand drawn logo of the Bashed Out album & EPs — the photographic exploration of various remix records & bits & bobs we've released by the band over the years. The photo that accompanies this story is just one of the unused family pics left out of the final artwork. (You can get it and a few bonus photos with the Bandcamp edition of the single.) Note that there wasn't time to prepare the EP for a physical format this year. But we hope to have a 7" edition in time for the 2017 holiday season.

(If this doesn't fix your holiday music jones, may we recommend checking out our new Amazon-exclusive collaboration from Anais Mitchell & Doveman [LISTEN] — last year's holiday EP by Justin Vivian Bond [LISTEN] and/or last year's holiday single by Jherek Bischoff & Sondre Lerche [LISTEN])

And now for a bit more This Is The Kit catch-up. On the touring front, the band just finished up a short run of three shows — in late October, a visit to the band's spiritual home of Bristol, England and a SOLD OUT gig at London's beloved Union Chapel. And, finally, a showcase at Iceland's Airwaves festival, which marked the band's first time in Reykjavik. Since the UK shows happened right around Halloween, TITK dressed up as an extra large band, inviting the Fantasy Orchestra (a project of Kate's creative partner Jesse Vernon) to join them on a few songs. Need a visual?

A video posted by Brassland (@brassland) on

Last but not least, the band has released two new videos in the past few months, both of which are tied to our January release of the Rusty and Got Dusty EP and both of which were self-produced & directed by Kate & Jesse. First in May came "Les Plus Beaux," a cover by their pals Francois & the Atlas Mountains. Upbeat and more outright poppy & danceable than your average TITK song, it was, perhaps, best described by one YouTube commentor as "light as the air and as life affirming as an army of puppies."

In August came "Cold and Got Colder," a heavier number from the EP, here soundtracked by its more rumbly & metative Aaron Dessner-produced version. The video's simple premise has Kate taking a canoe on a lengthy journey across land. A metaphor about long periods of touring away from family & friends? An allusion to Werner Herzog's classic film Fitzcarraldo? A strong display of Kate's solo portage skills? It is all & none of these things as Kate explains: “Often in life we're struck by the struggle. Our own struggles and also witnessing the struggles of others. Making this video was kind of a performance/personal process/nod to anyone who has ever had to carry a canoe across land and through the amazon jungle, literally or metaphorically. The song itself is about the toll that gets taken on someone whose life and work takes them away from home/family and then throws them back again and then tugs them a way again and throws them a few canoes to carry in with the bargain. Sometimes we need a rest and a swim.”

And that's all we got...for now. But seriously, not since The National has a Brassland artist so gripped the imagination of indie music lovers. We expect great things ahead for the band. And, on that note, we'll leave you with this shot of Kate at the Bristol, England recording sessions for an of-yet-mysterious follow-up release.

A photo posted by Brassland (@brassland) on

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