New artist of the week: R.Kitt
Plus songs you have to hear from Maria Somerville and Matt Berninger with Julien Baker
What Subtly emotive Irish dance music
Why It’s probably not an easy task to follow in the footsteps of a sibling who has established themselves as one of Ireland’s finest alternative electronic artists and singer-songwriters but Robbie Kitt has soaked up his brother David’s knowledge and musicianship and applied it to his own music with ease.
Kitt the younger can often be found behind the decks of some of Dublin’s dwindling dance clubs playing house, disco and off-kilter electronica, either solo or with the Dip Collective of DJs and is a firm believer in the cultural value of club spaces and the communities that surround them. As such Kitt supports the Give Us The Night Campaign, which is starting once again, to put pressure on lawmakers to ease the restrictive laws around opening hours for the country’s venues.
Community is also at the centre of Kitt’s radio output, as one of the selectors on the online radio station Dublin Digital Radio where his output has taken in ambient specials and uplifting house music.
All of the above forms the blueprint for his solo work as R.Kitt, as heard across a smattering of releases in the last two years. On his 2017 EP for the Pear label, he put out four tracks of jaunty synth-based electronica with nods to Aphex Twin’s melodic work and analogue groovers with titles that further reinforce his love of his hometown - Dublin is Bubblin’ and Jigsaw - the space where the Dip parties take place.
Better yet was 2018’s Tingle EP on Berlin/Dublin label Goldbrick, which wanders from the house jam Breakboy featuring the instructional vocals of Jennifer Moore (Dreamcycles) to the analogue melodies of Emotional Freak to the evocative tropical vista of the title track.
An hour-long mix of unreleased music for Rinse FM’s AVA Power Hour show in November suggests there’s much more to come from R.Kitt that will contribute to, and help keep the pegged-in dancefloors of the country primed for dancing for another generation to come.
YOU HAVE TO HEAR THIS
Maria Somerville: Eyes Don’t Say It
Connemara musician Maria Somerville has taken her time in developing her craft since an initial bit of hype in 2014 and her return with new music was markedly different than what had been heard before. Eyes Don’t Say It is a dense fog of a song with Somerville’s vocals overlapping in choral waves and a barren beat to create something quite otherworldly.
The National frontman Matt Berninger and the composer Altman originally wrote this song for the political documentary American Chaos but the inclusion of the young Tennessee artist Julien Baker brings a contrasting vitality to Berninger’s weary tones. The song was released as a charity 7” record for Planned Parenthood, as part of a series which also features Bjork and Mitski.