David Kitt: 20 review – Late-night mellow intimacy

Introduction of beats and electronic elements overhauling many songs in the album

    
Artist: David Kitt
Genre: Singer / Songwriter
Label: Self-released

If you remember the intimate magic of David Kitt’s debut album Small Moments, you may be surprised at the realisation that two decades have passed since its release.

In 2020, to mark twenty years of releasing music, Kitt took a notion to revisit and rework twenty songs from his back catalogue.

Part One of this album, influenced by classic 1970s records based around acoustic guitar (like Joni Mitchell's Blue and Nick Drake's Pink Moon) showcases a largely pared-back rendering of songs like the languid warble of All Night Long, a newfound delicacy to Strange Light in the Evening featuring Kitt's regular collaborator Margie Lewis, and the wistful country harmonica-led wheeze of With You.

It’s Part Two that really sees this album sparkle, however, with the introduction of beats and electronic elements overhauling many songs, rather than just tinkering with their blueprint.


Song from Hope Street and You Know What I Want to Know, both taken from 2001’s The Big Romance, are given a jazzy bossa nova makeover that completely transforms them; the gloopy slouch of Headphones is a delight, while the noodly guitar of Say No More is indulgent but enjoyable.

Kitt may have reworked these songs, but for the most part has not lost the sense of late-night mellow intimacy that is so central to much of his work.

Lauren Murphy

Lauren Murphy

Lauren Murphy is a freelance journalist and broadcaster. She writes about music and the arts for The Irish Times