This Is The Kit - Magic Spell

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Directed, created & hand-drawn by Sam Wisternoff

Buy This Is the Kit's new album Bashed Out

Kate Stables on 'Magic Spell:
"Magic Spell" is wee step in a more foot-tapping direction to what some people have come to expect from This Is The Kit. It’s the result of tours all crammed in the car and listening to re-releases of old African groove compilations and Hugh Tracey field recordings. That and a summer or two playing to festival crowds who were well-up for a bit of a dance.

One year at Shambala Festival in Northamptonshire the generator cut out right in the middle of "Magic Spell" and the whole audience started chanting the chorus and spontaneously formed a conga line. They proceeded to chant and conga their way around until they finally got the generator up and running again about 7 minutes later.

Musically, this song is particularly influenced by “Twer Nyame" by Ebo Taylor, a song with a magic spell of a trumpet hook that made it's altered way into the chorus of the song. “Twer Nyame" was an important soundtrack to the journey I sing about in “Magic Spell,” hence its use in the song.

What was that journey about? It’s the story of an unexpected adventure of self-discovery and growth between friends. But also about spells and incantations and other inexplicable things that make you feel a certain way, or perhaps even make things happen in reality. A melody. A rhythm. A nonsensical sentence spoken by a child. Words and notes and beats carry different magics and intentions.

Thoughts on the video from director Sam Wisternoff:

I wanted the video to have a distinctly organic, handmade quality which I associate with This Is The Kit’s music so I decided to draw everything by hand, adding up, in the end to 1940 drawings. An initial idea was to incorporate the kind of doodles you might draw absentmindedly while on the phone and for these to come alive and morph into characters while the texture of each sheet of paper is magnified, creating a cloud-like atmosphere.

With colouring pencils, I traced over footage shot with the band, using the computer monitor as a light box, changing colour for each drawing to reflect the bouncy, technicolour feel of the track. For the parts of the song which increase in density and energy, with the synth and distorted guitars, the colours are reversed which makes the paper texture become more energentic and stormy reflecting the dynamics of the song.

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The women of the world have given us an astonishing number of fantastic folk-rock records this year, and This Is The Kit’s pensive yet muscular Bashed Out is near the head of the class. It’s one of the best albums of 2015 not to benefit from a media hype sensation, but maybe listen and love it anyway? Be an individual by doing exactly what I say! Your latest gateway into the album is this video for “Magic Spell,” although these visuals - directed, created, and hand-drawn by Sam Wisternoff - accompany a non-album version of the track, slightly more raw and rocking than the briskly ethereal original. 
-- Stereogum

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