words & interview by tom johnson
“I missed playing guitar and working on proper songs. I missed that headspace,” David Kitt tells us below, a prelude to brand new album Yous, which is release fully tomorrow but streaming in full for you here today and below. And while it sounds like a somewhat simple proclamation, those sentiments are ripe throughout Yous, the record quietly unrolling, gentile, unflustered; the quiet sound of “art for art’s sake” and so much more besides.
Built from ten plain-stated but wholly evocative songs, the whole thing is persuasively evocative, immersing the listener piece by tender piece, so casually you barely notice it happening until you’re lost within the fogginess that surrounds. There are little flecks of exuberance, occasional flourishes that spike out of the placidity, but mostly it hovers and hangs, like coastal weather, so prevalent it can shape the entire mood of the day without you even noticing its there.
Which isn’t to say this is a diminutive record, more that it’s so comfortable in the small nature of things, the monotone nature of listlessness and the space it occupies. Measured but meandering, it’s a beautiful record steeped in something you can’t quite place; those words you always meant to say and now can’t find a place for; a day you let get away.
‘Yous’ is released tomorrow and available to pre-order. You can listen to the whole thing here, and scroll a little further down to read a new Q&A with the man himself.
Some people might see a nine-year gap as a sign of struggle but you say this is “the most free I’ve felt making a record since my debut Small Moments” – how did you bridge those two things?
Well they say you have your whole life to make your first record and a year or two to make your second. I suppose this was the first one where I broke that cycle of a record every couple of years and hence with it the pressure and expectations that come with that. It was back to being art for art’s sake or recreation for recreation’s sake maybe.
When did the initial foundations for this take place, and what inspired these songs at the beginning?
The main impetus was the fact that it had been so long and there was a bunch of 10 to 15 songs I’d been playing live for years and the small group of hardcore fans were on my case to make a bloody record. Also the New Jackson stuff gave me an appetite for it again, I missed playing guitar and working on proper songs. I missed that headspace. Simple as that really.
Did you go in to the project with any clear goals in mind? Did they shift over time?
No goals here than to make something I believed in 100% and I thought fans would dig, and to try and enjoy the process as best as I could.
How do you describe the kind of record you’ve made with ‘Yous’?
It’s a low key record in a J.J. Cale/Ronnie Lane kinda way and that’s part of its charm for me. As I’m getting my electronics fix from New Jackson I wanted to leave room for all the live instrumentation on this and keep the backing as simple as possible, let every element have room to breathe and be heard and have a strong personality. I’ve been trying to get better at finger-picking too, watching a lot of Missisippi John Hurt video lessons on Youtube and I wanted to make room for some of that.
It feels like a very personal work, did you find out anything about yourself during the process?
It covers many different stages of my life even though it’s not as autobiographical as some of my other records. Many of the songs were written from the perpective of other people. It feels like a very Dublin record to me with a couple of trips to the West Coast(Galway).
Do you have a personal favourite track on the record?
I really like Winter Sing, Cling Film, Cause For Leaving but Still Don’t Know is probably my favourite. It has some rainforest dubby magic going that perfect evokes the travelogue within a dream imagery of the song. One of my favourite things I’ve ever done.
What does this record mean to you and what do you hope other people take from it?
It’s another record, once again different to the others. Feels like a bunch of old friends to me. I just hope people give it some time to get to know it.
UK Live Dates:
London, Borderline – April 18th
Manchester, Eagle Inn – April 19th