Interviews Music

One Track Mind: This Is The Kit

Photo: Cedric Obelan

Kate Stables on the prismic, reflective qualities of a Paul Simon classic

The premise of One Track Mind is pretty simple: I ask artists to pick one track that means a lot to them – either something they’ve discovered recently, something that’s been with them for years, or one that reminds them of a specific time in their life or career – and tell me what makes it so special to them. I get to talk to the artists I love, and they get to talk about the artists they love. Love all round!

This Is The Kit is the alias of English musician Kate Stables. Established in 2003, she released her first album Krülle Bol in 2008 and has over four subsequent albums – the latest of which was 2020’s Off Off On for Rough Trade – established a sound deeply rooted in the folk traditions of storytelling, with songs evoking an earthy, tactile sense of time and place one moment and ethereal, dream-like atmospheres the next.

Recently she announced her new album, Careful of your Keepers, due for release 09 June along with the lead single Inside Outside which you can listen to below.

For her One Track Mind selection, Kate has penned some typically poetic words about a favourite track from Paul Simon’s seminal album Graceland.

Kate Stables on Paul Simon – The Boy In The Bubble

“The song The Boy In The Bubble by Paul Simon is a real whopper for me. The whole Graceland album in fact! But this song in particular.

“I have such strong memories of listening to this in the car on a family holiday in the south of France when I was about 7 or 8, and it being so exciting. A real feeling of adventure. For me it was the sound of forward motion and possibilities.

“It’s of course changed a bit for me over time as these things have a tendency to do. There is totally still adventure and forward motion in the song when I listen to it now, but also a sadness and a sense of being overwhelmed by the hugeness of the world. There’s an added heart ache that I hear in the music. But at the same time the instrumentation and arrangement of the song, the pulse of everything together, just feels so uplifting and optimistic.

“This song to me now feels like the voice of someone who’s lived through huge change and pain but because of that also a lot of growth and beauty and strength.

“Of course this is all me just projecting my own brain and inner workings onto this song. But is that not all we ever do with songs anyway?

“All we can do is interpret them through the prism of our own experiences. And this song feels like quite a powerful prism to look at a one’s life through. Kind of like a tarot reading. But backwards. Of the past.

“It makes me think of a Jeffrey Lewis line where he says “I wasn’t designed to have this much past”. But at the end of the day it feels like a huge and very precious gift to have this much past. Even if a little overwhelming.

“These are the days of miracle a wonder after all.”

This Is The Kit – Inside Outside is out now