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This Is The Kit talk about change on Careful Of Your Keepers

"Careful Of Your Keepers"

Release date: 09 June 2023
This Is The Kit - Careful Of Your Keepers cover
07 June 2023, 09:00 Written by Connor Shelton

Careful Of Your Keepers is daring and soft, cutting and warm–a wild feat of complexity and combined dispositions.”

So goes the assertion of whoever wrote the press release for This Is The Kit’s latest album, yet to many listeners’ ears, what they hear may be more of the same. No amount of horns or yet another producer coming on board can alter this fact. The irony in all this is that Careful Of Your Keepers is centred around the idea of change.

The alt-folk sound that This Is The Kit is known for rears its head right away on “Goodbye Bite.” It’s an amusing title for the first song on the record, and that peculiarity is inherent throughout the track. More importantly, the song establishes the recurring idea of mankind’s tendency to measure and quantify abstract ideas and emotions. Subsequent tracks like “More Change” take these observations further by asking “If we're holding hands / Will we walk at the same speed?” It’s this philosophical quandary (along with the general desire to know what change looks like) which lies at the heart of Kate Stables’ songwriting on the record, and it hints at a question of whether these songs continue to reflect microcosmic personal feelings or if they are meant to represent societal frustrations.

Regardless of how much change there happens to be in the sound and lyrics of Careful Of Your Keepers, there’s little denying the sonic appeal of the LP. “Take You To Sleep” marries a traditional acoustic-guitar-driven folk sound with harsh, atonal saxophone bleeps, the aforementioned “More Change” offers the kind of immediate melodies that would make lesser artists jealous, and “Inside Outside” takes cues from the likes of The Cure and Joni Mitchell while marrying them with Stables’ distinct musical sensibilities. The initial run of songs on the album is unparalleled, yet the magic sadly runs dry with the sleepy “This Is When The Sky Gets Big” and never quite rekindles itself.

While the latter half of the record isn’t as engrossing as the first half, it still concludes with a solid trio of tunes. The final two, “Stuck In A Room” and “Dibs” in particular bring the ideas of the record full circle by invoking the idea of measurement and concluding the album with more oral imagery. This lyrical cohesion and symmetry are satisfying, yet there’s a sense that Careful of Your Keepers would have been better off if Stables had focused more time on writing stronger melodies instead of refining her poetry. Perhaps this analytical lens is missing the point though.

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