Raw Essentials: a playlist by Kit Grill

Kit Grill – Press_1

Following ‘Fade Away’, his latest single of beguiling synth pop, and ahead of an upcoming new album, the artist, producer & long-standing NTS Radio resident Kit Grill compiles an essentials playlist based on inspiring music of raw simplicity, taking in everything from Aphex Twin through minimal wave to The Kinks (via Raf Simons).

Artist, producer & long-standing NTS Radio resident Kit Grill has been knocking around for a while now, with his debut solo EP ‘Expressions’ emerging just over a decade ago. Yet, for all the relative longevity, and aesthetic divergence displayed during this time, Grill has retained an evergreen enthusiasm for sound, from making artful synth pop in the mould of New Order, Bill Nelson, and Thomas Leer to crafting aching, meditative ambient as tender as it is atmospheric.

His recent releases ‘Fragile’ and ‘Spirit’ encapsulate the varying compulsions that define his output, the former an ode to the pace of city living and the latter an attempt to capture ideas of serenity and stillness. Songs – and sounds – of experience that mirror the fluid hues of contemporary existence; whether in the grip of motion and noise, or away from it all, drifting elsewhere.


His latest single, entitled ‘Fade Away’, is an anthemic, romantic paean to contact, connection, and escape; all yearning, bittersweet idealism, the sound of golden sunsets and credits rolling. It’s difficult to dispute the sheer, beguiling sweep of it all, the meeting point between the post-rave English melancholy of Real Lies and the lightly eccentric pop of Bullion, with vestiges of Bernard Sumner & co, OMD and The Blue Nile thrown in.

Incorporating the use of his own vocals for the very first time, its heartfelt music, made for better times, the perfect song for the final glance in the rear view mirror.

With a new album of material planned, comprising more of his own vocal turns, Kit has supplied us with a playlist of ‘Raw Essentials’, based on music that avoids overwrought complication, and instead thrives on simplicity. Read some introductory words from Kit below, dive in, and savour the simple things.

‘In a world with a never-ending supply of new music it can be hard for something to stand out and for me personally, I love music that is stripped-down to the essentials and doesn’t sound overproduced. The tracks selected here resonate for that reason. The playlist is broad, but I think they all have an energy that can sometimes feel lost with modern day music production. I’m currently finishing up work on a new album which features my vocals for the first time and keeping the music raw and untamed is at the forefront of my mind.’


Kit Grill on the web and on Bandcamp.

Medio Mutante - Another Land

Ever since I first heard ‘Another Land’, it’s become one of my favourite minimal wave tracks. The Spanish vocals with the production are perfect together and the raw feel the track has is exactly what music should be about.

  • Medio Mutante - Another Land

    Ever since I first heard ‘Another Land’, it’s become one of my favourite minimal wave tracks. The Spanish vocals with the production are perfect together and the raw feel the track has is exactly what music should be about.

  • Christine & The Queens - To Be Honest

    I’ve only recently discovered Christine and The Queens through their new album ‘Redcar Les Adorables Etoiles’, and after reading an interview last year I heard they were working with Mike Dean on their next record, who I’m a big fan of. This track just came out and it doesn’t disappoint, the music Mike Dean contributes to always has an energy and unpolished feel to it.

  • Gil Scott-Heron - Your Soul and Mine

    ‘I’m New Here’ is one of my go to albums for minimal production, the music Richard Russell produced blends with Heron’s gritty voice to create a contemporary blues album. The sparse drums and instrumentals weave spoken word across gospel, industrial and ambient.

  • Aphex Twin - Start as You Mean to Go On

    Since I was 18 I’ve been listening to Aphex Twin and ‘I Care Because You Do’ has all the elements of spontaneity, adrenaline, emotion and untamed production. ‘Start As You Mean To Go On’ stands out because it’s so bold. I love how hard it goes, you’re either up for it or you’re not, there’s no middle ground. The whole track has such a raw feel, almost like it was a live take.

  • Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions - Suzanne

    I came across ‘Suzanne’ through Sandoval’s work with Mazzy Star and often return to her music when I need some calm and space to reflect. Her voice on ‘Bavarian Fruit Bread’ is as ethereal and captivating as ever and is layered with beautiful stripped-down folk produced with Colm O Coisoig from My Bloody Valentine.

  • Lyra Pramuk - Tendril

    ‘Tendril’ was one of my favourite tracks of 2020 and the album ‘Fountain’ is incredible. Limitation is important in creating and this album feels like the perfect representation of what you can do with using only the voice.

  • The Kinks - I Go to Sleep

    I’ve always admired Raf Simons taste in music and often watch his shows to enjoy the music. During the most recent show there was an apocalyptic sounding track playing and then straight after came The Kinks – ‘I Go to Sleep’, I hadn’t heard it before but the simplicity of the song, the piano and Ray Davies’ voice did exactly the job of cutting through the noise. It’s a good reminder of how little you need to make a good song.

  • The Jordan Singers - Will You Save Me

    A beautiful gospel track that hits hard. I’ve always loved the drums and guitars across motown and gospel and ‘Will You Save Me’ has it all.