Gypsy & The Cat : The Late Blue
Gypsy & The Cat’s debut, Gilgamesh, hit a very particular musical sweet spot when it came out two years ago. Songs like Jona Vark and Time To Wander had just enough dreamy, washed-out indie cred that they caught on with the triple j crowd, but their bouncy hooks and infectious choruses made them big crossover hits on commercial radio. The prospect of mainstream success, however, seemed to spook the pair – check out the video of them looking miserable while playing Hungry Hungry Hippos with a selection of competition winners at Future Music Festival. The Late Blue is the follow-up to that successful debut, and comes across as something of a rejoinder to it – “we’re not here to pump out more synth pop”, it says, “we’re here to make art”. The album seems almost deliberately designed to confront casual fans who might have nodded their heads along to Time To Wander on the radio – it’s a dense and strange listen, swapping the synths out for live instrumentation, messing with the song structures, and turning its nose up at anything as mundane as radio play. When writing these songs, Lionel and Xavier immersed themselves in the psychedelic rock of bands like The Zombies and Spacemen 3, and it shows through in the shifting time signature and trippy instrumental passages. It was a risky more to take, but the pair are skilled enough musical craftsmen that it pays off. Tracks like Only In December and Broken Kites are light on instant gratification, but maintain the hazy, dreamy pop feel that made Gligamesh so appealing. It’s anyone’s guess how well this new direction will be received, but The Late Blue has a real appeal.
BY ALASDAIR DUNCAN
Best Track: Sorry
If You Like These, You’ll Like This: Congratulations MGMT
In A Word: Trippy