David Kitt  / Idiot Check  / Re:Warm – By Balearic Mike 

Wonderful words by Balearic Mike.

Bloody hell! This was a nice surprise… As someone who, after working in a record shop for over 20 years, who has listened to, bought, and played music in a sometimes worryingly obsessive manner for even longer, and who as a result is often a bit of a pompous, know-it-all, gas-bag about music, I’m mortified to have to admit that I was unaware of David Kitt until now! 

I have the lyric … “I’ve never been wrong. I used to work in the record store”… from LCD Soundsystem’s Losing My Edge tattooed on my left arse cheek, but before I get laser removal on that, and then throw myself off the end of The Palace Pier in shame, let me just tell you how wonderful this new record is… and when I say ‘new’, I mean ‘new’ in every sense of the word. The label Re:Warm has become a firm favourite over the last few years, releasing an incredible array of wonderful music that every home should own. With the exception of the stunning Home: Volume One compilation, which gathered together new and previously unreleased material, the label’s output so far has concentrated on re-discovering musical gems from the past that most have missed. However, that’s no the case here. What we have is an incredible set of songs, recorded over the last few, insane years, and released on an unsuspecting public for the very first time. I have to say that I’m blown away. I’m going to assume that the rest of you already know who David Kitt is, and hence quickly skip over my embarrassment at the fact that I haven’t noticed him release 8 solo LPs, over 23 years. I’m going to rectify that though on the strength of this record.

The album is an utterly beautiful set of songs recorded between 2016 and 2022 in his “Breaking Bad mobile studio set-up” in Dublin, Paris, and eventually the remote town of Ballinskelligs in south-west Kerry, where David now lives. I’m guessing it’s also where the stunning cover photo was taken. This photo gives you a good indication of the music contained herein. The songs themselves are so carefully crafted, and sway from catchy pop melodies to more traditional folk music structures, but they all have an immersive and epic sense of space and light – no doubt inspired by the vast expanse of the North Atlantic coastline.

Balearic Mike David Kitt 1

The music is for the most part is sparse, paired back, giving the songs plenty of room to breathe. A delicate blend of acoustic guitars and electronics prevails throughout. Opening track, Every Little Drop, begins with a summery strum and what sounds like an upright bass and loose percussion, before an almost discordant electric guitar part soars over proceedings. The lyrics are obviously deeply biographical, as they  are on many of the pieces, and David’s voice is complimented perfectly by Katie Kim’s backing vocals on several of them.

Another standout is Wishing Well, whose gentle keys are punctuated by the same discordant guitar, before David’s vocals begin accapella, then the whole track is suddenly propelled into gear by a joyous, shuffling, break-beat.

The album flows effortlessly between ambient soundscape, on All Folly, to Balearic pop perfection, on Leave Me Making (a real highlight), to gentle folk, with an almost Cuban / Latin feel, on Wexford Strawberries, to quite experimental folk-tronica (is that a thing?) (Rob – Yes : ). Some of it reminds me of wonderful records by artists such as Argentinian singer / songwriter Juana Molina, who’s solo blending of folk and electronic music seems close to what David has achieved here.

Another artist that I’m reminded of is Brian Eno, particularly my favourite of his LPs Another Green World. David’s  track Till The End could have been a highlight on any of those pre-ambient Eno records. It’s the blurring of genres, the juxtaposition of contrasting musical elements, that ‘Sky Saw” guitar sound (OK, it’s not exactly the same, but it definitely brings it to mind), even the tone of David’s voice. Most importantly it achieves that perfect balance, which is so hard to get right, between pure pop, and experimentation. I think that’s what makes this album such a joy. David has written some beautiful songs and could have presented them in a multitude of ways, and they would probably have still worked, they’re that good. The fact that he decided to record them in such an inventive, sensitive, and creative way is just the icing on the cake. A wonderful sounding cake.

It also looks as good as it sounds, with the aforementioned front cover photo a perfect accompaniment to the music. Plus you can sit and wonder: Is he wearing that paper hat as a subtle tribute to Arthur Russell, as it’s very like the hat in the famous photo session which adorned the cover to Arthur’s Another Thought? Or is the fact that it looks like it’s made out of tinfoil a nod to the ‘idiot’ of the title?”

Arthur Russell Another Thought

I’m already very much in love with this album, as is Balearic Wife, and you know what high standards she has! An early contender for record of the year. I know it’s only March, but I think a lot of people are going to feel the same way about this record. As for filling the vast gap in my musical knowledge, I’ve just bought David’s beautiful cover version of a song called Dancing In The Moonlight by another trailblazing Irish troubadour, Phil Lynott.

David Kitt’s Idiot Check is out now on Re:Warm. 

For more from Balearic Mike you can find him on both Facebook and Instagram – @balearicmike. 

Mike has a Mixcloud page packed with magnificent, magical, music, and you can catch him live on 1BTN, from 12 noon until 2 (UK time) every 1st and 3rd Friday.

Balearic Mike 1BTN

You can also check out the super silk screen prints of “Balearic Wife” over at @jo_lambert_print


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