Rough Trade’s indie-folk moment continues to eddy languorously in 2017. After signing Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker, they’ve also snapped up This Is the Kit, AKA Bristol-bred, Paris-based singer-songwriter Kate Stables, whose thoughtful, guitar-seasoned songs have gathered fans including long-time PJ Harvey collaborator John Parish and the National’s Aaron Dessner, who have produced her albums and play here.
Listened to loud, these songs drift warmly away on the air, but up close, Stables’ voice burrows into the ears, sounding direct and sweet, like a dear old friend you’re reconnecting with, or a more grounded Cat Power. Her banjo has a similar urgency when it breaks through, especially on the stirring Empty No Teeth, but the rougher, indie-guitar tracks are the best. Take the title track, its staggered harmonies juddering infectiously against softly shuffled drums, or Hotter Colder, guiding us through a spirit world playfully yet uneasily – a mood that suits Stables well.