It`s a bit of a shocker to realise that it`s twenty three years since Dubliner David Kitt`s breakthrough debut album ‘Small Moments’ was released as he delivers his ninth album ‘Idiot Check’ this month. This long player was written between 2016 and 2022 in Dublin, Paris and eventually the remote town of Ballinskelligs (Baile an Sceilg) in the Iveragh Peninsula, south-west Kerry (where he is now based). It was also produced and recorded by Kitt himself using his “Breaking Bad mobile studio set-up” and finds the artist exploring a range of themes from the breakdown of relationships to socio-political issues and the absence of religion. Special guests include Dylan Lynch of Soda Blonde, regular collaborator Katie Kim, plus an appearance from reclusive Canadian singer-songwriter Mary Margaret O’Hara.
The album opens with `Every Little Drop` which has an underlying electronic texture mixed with a more Celtic flavour. It`s a mid-paced reflective indie number ruminating on what appears to be the singer`s relationship with his partner which sadly fell apart during the covid lockdown. The addition of Katie Kim`s vocal shadowing his own gives it a further appealing dynamic. In `Not So Soon` we have a track that was finished at the tail-end of Donald Trump’s presidency and in ways relates to recent trends of political and social polarisation according to the singer. It rolls along and has a fairly hypnotic feel.
I read that `Wishing Well` relates to the void left by the decline of religious institutions and what we turn to in the absence of faith and superstition. It too me, has a kind of lo-fi almost trippy vibe as it ambles along with it`s really spellbinding attraction. Canadian singer-songwriter Mary Margaret O’Hara joins the singer on `All Folly` and adds an ethereal dimension to this quite haunting submission. Kitt sings in Gaelic at times during the lifespan of this number which really gives it an eerie nigh on spiritual sensibility. Almost a Celtic incantation or eulogy.
We have a really eclectic offering in `It’s in Some of Us` which enjoyed all kinds of electronic percussive elements that almost veered towards the experimental. Katie Kim`s delightful backing vocals almost flowed in and out like waves against a beach. I kind of drifted off in thoughts of my own during `Leave Me Making` a quite upbeat electronic composition with a soothing vocal delivery that will leave you almost peaceful and serene.
`Wexford Strawberries` has a Spanish guitar riff and a drum machine beat running like a heartbeat throughout as the singer reminisces on romantic times gone by.
There`s a much more straightforward folk outing in `Till The End` which has some electronic tones and Katie Kim`s delicate and gentle nuances in response to the singer`s narrative declarations. A wonderfully complimentary melding of vocal styles.
`Balances` has a foot tapping shuffling beat that leads us along this reflective meditation which heads of on an instrumental reverie towards the end. A relatively thought provoking listen. The album closes out with Dylan Lynch of Dublin alt-pop band Soda Blonde on drums on `Wave of Peace` which is a gentle uplifting, absorbing and inspiring offering to close the circle.
`Idiot Check` is a wonderfully absorbing listen with passages that are ambient and atmospheric but also has a real blend of electronic experimentalism. The choice of guests in Dylan Lynch and Mary Margaret O’Hara added a certain something to the numbers they graced while, for me, singer Katie Kim was the real highlight. She added such gracefulness to the singer`s own deeply rich vocals.
This album will overtake your life if you`re not careful and Mr Kitt will be trekking around the UK and Ireland from early next month where i`m sure a number of these cuts will be well received.
Rating 9 / 10