Album Review: Trash Kit – Horizon

Trash Kit are back with a new whirlwind of an album following a five year break.  Rachel Aggs (guitar, vocals), Rachel Horwood (drums, vocals) and Gill Partington (bass) have come together once again to plunge themselves into new and exciting musical explorations this time inspired by Zimbabwean guitars drenched in Mbira rhythms and, in their own words, looking to the future.

Trash Kit formed in 2009 and have since released two albums and a number of singles for Upset the Rhythm, ten years later taking a leap with Horizon into new interpretations and experiments, pinning down the sound they started exploring in the previous two albums. Horizon is brave, ethereal and wild, permeated with buoyancy and excitement. Inspired by Sleater Kinney, The Ex and The Raincoats, Trash Kit have carved out a unique sound for themselves on the London DIY scene, (the) one that’s exhilarating and euphoric, yet subtly and playfully blurring the line between raw folk and futuristic experimentation. This time the trio invited to collaborate Emma Smith and Serafina Steer who have contributed a viola and harp, and Dan Leavers with saxophone touches to ‘Every Second’, ‘Horizon’, ‘Sunset’, ‘Disco’ and ‘Traffic Lights, fusing and expanding the band’s sound to a bold new territory.

The opening track, ‘Coasting’, introduces us to the leading drum that weaves through the entire record. Inspired by ‘The Parable of the Sower’ by the Afro futurist sci-fi writer Octavia Butler, a novel set in an apocalyptic California dealing with longing for change and renewal, the song is about “the end of the world and also the afterlife”. The traditional folklore section of the violin finishing ‘Coasting’ forecasts a primal, powerful energy to otherwise funky, drum lead exploration. ‘Every Second’ follows on with an upbeat, joyous sound, rubbing its message in with poignance and persistence. Overlapping vocals and rhythmic, hypnotic guitar riffs take us on a different journey in ‘Dislocate’ for the entrancing beat to get pumped up in ‘Sunset’ and echo into psychedelic chanting. ‘Disco’ stands out as the heart of the record with beautifully soothing jazz spins that sprint and gallop, spinning us out of control and throwing us into a spiralled dance trance, our limbs still moving.

‘Horizon’ is a real rapturous hidden gem of a title track, reaching out to the edge of the planet, freeing in its sentiment and complex in its multi-layered arrangement, a quality it shares with ‘See Through’ in addition to the gruff drop in tone, commanding us to transcend and break down, its message urgent, Partington’s bassline interlacing with the drumbeat in harmony, the double beat striking us into awe. Trash Kit plunge into folk infused psychedelic sound, yet the lyrics remain dissecting the world around, direct and relevant, the importance of staying in the moment and, in Aggs’ own words, “creating something beautiful, cathartic or fun can be an end in itself.”

Horizon bursts with jubilant, entrancing energy, buzzing with the sounds of the world and the sounds of the future in a harmonious, upbeat record I couldn’t stop listening to.

Review by Anna Siemiaczko

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