wears the trousers magazine

introducing kill it kid


voice on the verge #34: kill it kid

visit Kill It Kid on Myspace

With last December’s demos EP recorded by PJ Harvey’s stalwart collaborator John Parish, fledgling band Kill It Kid emerged from Bath Spa University sounding like old hands despite having been together for merely a year. Their name, taken from a song by Blind Willie McTell, is indicative of the musical influences they draw upon, merging current indie sensibilities with a heady blend of blues – or more specifically, the delta variety. They’re calling it “dark pop blues”, which is accurate enough in that it reflects how Kill It KId combine old-school reverence with refreshingly modern panache, a skill that comes across most exceptionally in the duelling girl/boy vocals of Stephanie Ward and Chris Turpin. While Chris is often credited with the voice that represents the crowning glory of the band’s sound in its husky androgyny (comparisons with Antony Hegarty are not uncommon), Stephanie provides a sweet and vital clarity to the songs and should not be overlooked. The EP was a promising taster, hinting at the possibility of mainstream success yet retaining a credibly different edge that sets them apart from their peers. Produced by Ryan Hadlock, whose previous customers include The Gossip, Fleet Foxes and The Stroke, the band’s new single ‘Send Me An Angel Down’ – a reworking of the EP’s Turpin-led highlight – is released tomorrow and is a heartfelt cry of angst-kissed determination that should earn Kill It Kid the recognition they need to break through. Wears The Trousers wanted to know more and so dispatched its trusty questionnaire to Stephanie, c/o One Little Indian Records. This is what came back.

* * *

What’s your middle name?

Maura Jean, but I’d like it to be Broccoli because I think that’s a nice name and I’d like to try it out.

Who was your childhood idol?

Penny Crayon. She could draw anything and it would become real. Just like that.

Who was the first person you saw in concert?

Mary Black with my Mum!

What did you want to be until you decided to become a musician…if you ever did ‘decide’ that is!

I wanted to play in the Women’s National Basketball Association!

What would you be if you weren’t a musician?

Probably a disheartened PE teacher.

Which female musicians have most inspired you?

Etta James, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Eva Cassidy etc.; male inspirations? Ben Harper, Ray Charles etc etc.

Tell us about your favourite instrument…

I have a beautiful honky-tonk piano. I bought it off a very old, very blind piano tuner.

Do you have an instrument you’d still like to learn? What’s stopping you?

Maybe cello, but I don’t have the money or time. Yet.

If you had to pick one song from your repertoire to represent your entire body of work, which one would you choose and why?

Probably ‘Burst Its Banks’. It’s got so many different elements and showcases everyone really well.

What’s your favourite song to cover and why?

A good jazz standard is always great because the basic chords and melodies are there but then you’re free to do absolutely anything you want with it. I love singing over any basic 12-bar because you can just go off on one!

Which artist would you most like to work with – your dream collaboration?

I would like to have Cole Porter write me a song to sing. But I’m a few decades too late!

What’s your funniest studio memory?

Richard wears his headphones over his face.

What’s been the best moment of your career so far?

Going to Seattle to record the album was very exciting.

What was the last good book you read and how did it affect you? 

I read The Other Boleyn Girl and loved it! The film wasn’t as good as the book though. I’m now quite eager to know everything about Henry VIII!

What’s your top household tip?

Don’t leave things balanced just inside the fridge door.

What are your pet hates?

Not being able to find something in a bag.

What’s your biggest fear?

Slippery slopes – especially driving up them!

What’s your tipple?

Pineapple juice. No actually Rubicon. Yeah.

Would you rather see a ghost or simply have a piece of toast and watch the evening news?

Toast and Marmite. Every time.

How would you describe your new single in 10 words or less?

The single is: A beautiful but gutsy song, out on May the 18th – that’s 10!

What have you done today to make you feel proud?

I only had one ice cream.

* * *

Charlotte Richardson Andrews


‘Send Me An Angel Down’


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