UTR038 | CD / LP | 10 tracks, 30 mins | October 2010
'INVOCATION' is KIT's second full-length and sees them producing a decidedly more reflective and considered album. Rooted in the occult and metaphysics, it's drenched in West Coast sunshine noir - a contradiction of excessive over-the-top speed-demon pop and ominous leviathans lurking right below the surface.
Recorded at the Department of Safety in Anacortes, Washington aka "Nowhere" - before this legendary all-ages art space shut down - the band removed all of its familiar comfort zones for the sessions of 'INVOCATION'. The northern latitude meant longer days to work in and a refurbished fire station to play with, the sound of its concrete halls folding into Phil Elverum's (Microphones, Mount Eerie) unorthodox recording.
The isolation pulled the band out of its typical California home recording element. Going all analogue tape for recording, forced the group to re-think its process in terms of real time and maximising each track's potential. Elverum's unique recording merged well with the band's past DIY self-produced recording ethic. Guest appearances of violinist Nora Danielson (The Intima, Mirah) and bassist Themba Lewis (The Intima, Tara Jane O'Neil) add a contour to the recording that makes its presence most strongly felt on "Dreams Are Burned" - another version appears on the 7" EP with Mike Watt.
'INVOCATION' is an album about fixation, destiny and total, complete honesty. The album overspills with melodies and ideas that turn inside out over and over again - an album of happy accidents and exhilarating leaps of faith. It marks an area of lyrical maturity for the band. Singer / lyricist, Kristy, says it's about "how the people you love (doesn’t have to be romantic) are revolving around you like planets and you are their sun. Their life revolves around you and that can take a lot of getting used to". Other sources of inspiration include Kenneth Anger's 'Invocation Of My Demon Brother'.
"Merticane" kicks off the album, with jarring guitars and drums preparing a near explosive drama for Kristy's tale of awkward dawning love to unfold. "Ambrosia" is the most prototypical light-footed KIT song, tackling their punk pop unrest in a new way - pushing through convention and adding their own uplifting uneasiness to proceedings.
"Cure Light Wounds" springs and recoils as it unwinds into a chorus of insistent demands - "Won't you mend my broken heart?" pleads Kristy increasingly frenzied. "Out Of Ruins" resolves out of restraint, its heavy tread of twisting feedback and lurching chaos plunges into an ice cold pool of introspection that the band try to escape to no avail.
"Broke Heart" closes the album with a delightful twist, the initial burst of liveliness crumbling into a reverberating three-minute coda of ascendent bass and guitar drone with building percussion that becomes progressively more epic and resplendent at the same time, Boredoms-style.
With 'INVOCATION', KIT have created a record that enjoys defying expectations. KIT successfully capture everything between excitement and heartbreak - a sense of wonderment at the interactions contained in the world around us all without calling on higher powers or casting any spells.