Lucy Kitt has been writing and performing music as an independent artist for the last decade, and her experience really shines through on ‘Stand By,’ her debut record, which is a showcase for her consummate musicianship. Kitt first gained exposure by making it to the semi-final of the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk awards in 2006, which opened up a lot of gigging opportunities, supporting various folk stalwarts, including Cara Dillon and The Unthanks. She has also found success more recently with a number of internet sessions for Mahogony and Ont’ Sofa, among others.
It may have been a long time coming, but ‘Stand By’ is all the better for it. A mixture of older and newer songs, it feels like the distillation of years of songwriting experience. Kitt’s influences pulse through her writing; you can hear Joni, Neil, and Bob, but these voices do not overpower her own, her ability and down to earth, honest, songwriting very much standing on its own. The music is wonderful, too. Simple acoustic guitar for the most part, but with some lovely subtle hooks and melodies woven into it, with Kitt’s voice tying it all together beautifully.
The weakest track on the album is ‘Devil’s Luck,’ the fourth track, which Kitt has described as a relic from her transition from rock music to her current style, and this shows through. In itself it’s a decent song, but doesn’t gel as well with the rest of the record, which otherwise flows together very well.
The standout tracks are ‘Stand By,’ the eponymous first track, and ‘Better Days,’ which closes the album. Both tread the line between being deeply personal and yet universal, which is often attempted and rarely accomplished. They encompass the atmosphere of hope tinged with melancholy which runs right through the record, and bookends it perfectly.
It seems unbelievable that such an obvious talent has taken so long to come to the fore, but hopefully ‘Stand By’ is just the start for Lucy Kitt.