KitFai – The Things You Left Us
Alternative Rock | Indie Rock
What first drew me to this debut album from Norwegian band KitFai was its stunning artwork. Often I find that you can read a book (or rather album) by its cover surprisingly well, and have found some life-long favourites from taking a plunge due to the artwork alone. The vibrant cave of wonders depicted here is a nice metaphor for elements of this album, albeit not in the way you might think. It may be beautiful, but it’s at the centre of something bigger and more complex, and it’s easy to lose your way trying to find it. There are some flashes of brilliance here to be sure, with the rhythm section being this record’s greatest triumph. There are some fantastic drums fills scattered throughout and the bass is consistently phenomenal. The stripped back ‘Carefree’ makes a nice change of pace, and the interplay of male and female vocals on ‘Sleeping In’ really makes it stand out.
The little spoken word background in the breakdown, both on ‘Sleeping In’ and album highlight ‘The Way Ahead’, manages to really flesh out the tracks rather than feeling like a distraction. Though there are many interesting facets to be found here, they just don’t all connect in a way that seems entirely comfortable. There are elements of alt rock, indie, pop and emo to name a few, but they struggle to gel together in a natural way, it’s an album unsure of what it wants to be. I commend KitFai for embracing different sounds and ideas, but The Things You Left Us serves to show that they are a band who are still a work in progress, still trying to settle on a sound of their own. They are perfecting the recipe; they have all the ingredients at hand but still need to get the proportions right. This record is a flawed, but still promising, first foray for this Norwegian outfit.