Catcall : The Warmest Place
The Warmest Place marks the full-length debut from Catcall, the solo project from Sydney’s Catherine Kelleher, and you gather the sense it’s been a long time coming. There’s a scattershot allegiance to many expired trends that defined the golden era of alternative pop balanced out by some impressive displays of sheer pop smarts.
August grinds along with a pseudo-industrial aplomb – too down-tempo to be an outright banger, fuelling a palpable tension which explodes into the chorus.
The dreamy, retro-tinged Swimming Pool is sensual pop at its finest – floating many boats with lines such as “Goosebumps all over, nipples harden.” The track gifts the listener with all the benefits of a hot tub wristie, without the hassle of the navigating the chemical problems that burden underwater lovin’.
The album’s most killer hook comes in the form of Satellites, soaring with a highly singalong-worthy chorus that rivals Ladyhawke at her best. While Satellites’ title ostensibly recalls Cut Copy’s modern classic So Haunted, Shoulda Been bears many of the sonic hallmarks which defined Zonoscope – by no means to the point of being derivative. The one-note synth-horn ‘solo’ of Shoulda Been is sheer bliss – much like Neil Young’s brilliantly simple Cinnamon Girl solo.
The sub-Stefani cheerlead pep of The World Is Ours is the album’s definitive lowpoint – a dull, hook-devoid, exercise in cookie-cutter pop with an over-ambitious strive for stadium-sized histrionics. It’s a shame, because the video it heaps tops.
The Daft Punk-worship which defines That Girl was played out by the time Miami Horror peppered their sold debut with such elements many years ago, which is why it’s pretty damn weird to hear it pop up on a 2012 LP.
The repetitious white-boy funk of Art Star is spot on, made all the more better by Cat’s takedown of some unnamed hipster cunt (“Grow up, grow up, grow up, ha!”).
If The Warmest Place was dropped within the context of a few years prior, there’s every chance it probably would have been the greatest shit ever. Now, it instead presents a slightly tedious launching pad for the transfixing figure that is Catcall, rather than what could have been a surefire starmaker.
Best case scenario: Catcall is our next Luke Steele. Worst case scenario: Catcall is our next Luke Steele.
BY LACHLAN KANONIUK
Key Track:Art Star
If You Like These, You’ll Like This: Pnau PNAU, Illumination MIAMI HORROR
In A Word: Overcooked