Strikingly affirming and reminiscent of a mighty style similar to what icons like Babes in Toyland once championed, Kit Vale’s lead vocal in the new single “Pet” is both hauntingly fragile in moments and unsophisticatedly evocative, perhaps summarizing the mood of the song better than any of the instrumental components ever could have. While still in the process of putting together a proper debut album for the world, Vale sounds like every bit the legit pro listeners would expect an up-and-coming indie rockstar to be in this single, which I’m going to go ahead and deem her most complete composition of the two to see release in her career thus far.
“Pet” takes a minute or so to evolve from a simple experiment to a full-bodied alternative rock jam, but when it does hit a fever pitch, it’s out of nowhere and entirely jarring in the most surreal way. Vale incorporates just enough abrasiveness into the concept here to invite comparisons to proto-grunge and post-punk legends right out of the gate in this single and its charmingly gritty music video, and while some of the other millennial singer/songwriters I’ve been following lately have been sticking to conservative structures, this is an artist unafraid of trying something different.
The stutter-step in the chorus beat is one of the most brooding components of “Pet,” and for me, it was enough to send chills down my back the first and last time that I played the song on my stereo. Even at modest volumes, the intricacies that give this single an edge aren’t just audible – they’re aurally contributive and essential to the foundations of everything from a single verse to the hook itself, which is telling of just how much depth this songwriter is bringing to the table. She’s got a lot of skill that doesn’t need a lot of shaping – she just needs to let it cultivate naturally.
I hadn’t heard the music of Kit Vale before stumbling across her work this season, but now that the riff in “Pet” has entered my consciousness, I don’t think I’m going to keep her off my radar in the future. She has so much potential that isn’t going to waste in this release, and if given a little more time and the proper exposure to make a real stand in the mainstream market, I don’t believe anything will be able to stop the professional ascent this gifted rock musician is bound to experience.