Friday, 26 August 2016

Record Review - Cat's Eyes

Published in the Shortlist section of The Sydney Morning Herald, August 26

Cat’s Eyes
Treasure house

No doubt a result of writing the soundtrack to Peter Strickland’s 2014 film, The Duke Of Burgundy, the second collaboration between The Horrors’ Faris Badwan and songwriter Rachel Zeffira is a cinematic affair. Following on from Cat’s Eye’s eponymous 2011 debut, Treasure House is lush and dark, it ebbs and flows, as expansive as it is intimate and cosy.

Equal parts dreamy soundscape and punk aesthetic, imbued with a poppishness that softens the edges, it’s a record which begs repeated listens. It eases you in with the swirling title track and Drag, before catching you off guard with the more urgently delivered Be Careful Where You Park Your Car and Standoff. The latter are where the punk first comes in, and it’s the mark of a carefully considered album that they don’t seem out of place.

Zeffira’s voice is exquisite, at times as fragile as eggshell, while Badwan’s is stronger although no less dreamy. The use of strings throughout is a fine touch,
working particularly well on The Missing Hour, as is the mainly electronic backing, although it does grate in some instances. Overall though, an enjoyable sonic journey.

Samuel J. Fell

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