Fifteen years after their inception, The Cat Empire are releasing their sixth studio album, ‘Rising With The Sun’. Longevity is one of the hallmarks of any top outfit, and these guys never stand still – they refuse to allow themselves to be pigeonholed or accused of rehashing old material.
Their latest offering, recorded in their hometown of Melbourne over the course of 2015, is as energetic, upbeat and unrelenting as any of its predecessors. It draws on a number of sounds; ultimately producing the sort of record you can’t help but move your body to – even when you’re on the Northern Line early on a Monday morning. Think Tame Impala crossed with tUnE-yArDs, dusted with a bit of Wild Beasts and Beirut – and you start to get an idea of what ‘Rising With…’ is all about.
Opening tracks ‘Wolves’ and penultimate piece ‘Que Sera Ahora’ have already hit the airwaves, going down a treat with their global fan base. Their live show is second to none, and it’s obvious that the group are now producing tunes designed with festival suitability at the forefront of their minds. Whether you throw musical integrity away by doing so is another matter. What’s more immediately relevant (with the summer looming and all) is that it’s pretty easy to visualise every track hitting the sunset slot at many a festival.
What makes The Cat Empire so endearing to many is that they have no agenda, or delusions of grandeur, and like to be as close to their fans as possible. During the recording process they released a statement asking their fans to send in pictures of themselves at various gigs, in order to use 3,500 images in the artwork accompanying the release. It might not be a groundbreaking idea, but it’s still kinda sweet. They regularly offer dinners, workshops, and private performances to lucky fans. The naysayers will say these are just gimmicky ideas, while close followers of the Australian six-piece will know they are a sincere, genuine bunch, out to make music people can smile and dance to. They are a whirlwind of positivity and possibility, and fans will be proud of this latest effort.
Words: Milo Wasserman
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