Vinyl Corner is a feature where we take a look at vinyl pressings of various albums and weigh them up to see just how good they sound, how well they’re pressed and what sort of packaging to expect – as well as giving a brief overview of the music itself. Today, we’re weighing up one of the best crafted indie folk records of the year, This Is The Kit’s deeply singsong ‘Moonshine Freeze’.
Her fourth album under the This Is The Kit moniker, Kate Stables has been putting out quietly gutsy indie folk for the best part of a decade and a half but although previous efforts have certainly hit the mark, it’s with this year’s ‘Moonshine Freeze’ that she’s really knocked it out of the park. A collection of sharply written, well delivered contemplations; it’s an album that never struggles to live up to the subtle ambition of its creator. Instrumentation is understated but well placed and the overall musical palette is both tasteful and impactful – discreet enough to never feel overdone and subtle enough that repeat plays are not only worthwhile but actively encouraged. It’s a subtlety beguiling record and one of the best of its kind this year.
We’re looking at the red vinyl pressing of ‘Moonshine Freeze’ – there is a yellow version available but theoretically both should be the same in terms of playback. This is a really nice sounding pressing with a quiet noise floor that gives plenty of room for the delicately arranged music to shine. Given how understated and uninterrupted the melodies on the album are, the quality of this pressing is a big plus because significant surface noise would have considerably hampered the listening experience. Our copy sat nice and flat on the platter and from new was clean visually and in terms of sound quality. The album’s actual audio experience is well represented on this pressing, too, with subtle mastering that allows the nuances of the instrumentation to really shine. The shade of red that the album is pressed in is very appealing, too, lending the record a fetching visual aesthetic in addition to a nice, balanced soundscape. Overall, this is a really nice pressing – especially given its low price point (£14.99 from the Rough Trade Records webstore) – and is a great way to hear the album.
Presentation on the release is thoroughly in keeping with the music’s tasteful understatement; the single pocket sleeve is well printed, with the monochrome art given a striking clarity, and the sleeve itself printed with a fine texturing that adds colour and depth to the tactile element of handling it. Also included is a nicely printed inner sleeve on good stock paper which gives full credits to all who play on the album; although definitely a nice inclusion it’s likely best to use a polylined inner sleeve of your own for storage. Also included is a download code redeemable in 320kpbs MP3.
‘Moonshine Freeze’ is a polished little gem of an album and one that’s definitely slipped under many a radar this year. The vinyl release is a really solid performer, with low surface noise, nice dynamics and good quality packaging that easily meets – if not surpasses – expectations given the release’s wallet-friendly pricetag. All in all a great pressing of an excellent album.