Sunday, June 5, 2016

Cat's Eyes - Treasure House

It becomes more and more difficult for young, musically obsessed people to strike off in new directions. Take Cat's Eyes and their new, good though not great album Treasure House. They choose film soundtracks as their set off point, one of the few seams left in music for the obscurists where there is still plenty left to mine.

Drag, the pre-release single, posted ahead of the record is a good example of the album at its best. Very much in thrall to Phil Spector and the whole sixties girl group sound of doomed romance, full on melancholic atmospherics and dark romanticism. 

This is a joint project between Horrors lead singer Faris Badwan and Italo-Canadian soprano and multi-instrumentalist Rachel Zeffira. Generally, and understandably it's when the latter takes centre-stage that the record is at its best. Badwan's voice is definitively weak by comparison. Never necessarily a stumbling block in Rock music, here the inevitable contrast between the quality of vocals on show lead to a definite imbalance between tracks. 

This imbalance of course is generally a feature of soundtrack albums too and the record jumps all over the place in terms of the influences it draws on and the moods it hopes to convey. Nevertheless, it's mainly when Zeffira provides a still, glacial core to proceedings that Treasure House is at its best. Perhaps one to go to iTunes or YouTube for and cherry pick the record's most memorable moments, some of which I've posted here.

One for followers of David Lynch, Velvet Underground, Serge Gainsbourg, and cinephiles of course. Cat's Eyes certainly understand the drama of the moment when the lights dim and we all prepare to be transported to a world of imagination and uneasy dream.

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