I bought my first records in 1969. The first 45 was “Crimson and Clover” by Tommy James and the Shondells. The first LP that I purchased was The Bee Gees Greatest Hits. Over the ensuing years, I have listened to these repeatedly and still enjoy them. Some recordings have that magical magnetism. There are also some albums that I fell in love with after only hearing the first couple of notes of music or lyrics. Dark Side of the Moon did that number on me in 1973. Those recordings don’t happen all that often, but when it does happen, it is golden.
It happened again this week. I was sent an email that asked me if I would consider writing a blog posting about the album Animals by Cat Dowling. I dropped the imaginary needle on the opening track. Boom! It happened. I felt the magic. I felt the music. I felt the voice of Cat Dowling telling me that this love would make my skin burn, and it nearly did. It certainly made my ears perk up. It sent a cascade of energy pulses racing through my brain cells which excited a bucket full of neurons. Yeah, this album has that power.
I have since listened to it four times, and the charm didn’t wear off; that’s a good sign. I am listening to it again as I tap away at my keyboard, and I can only marvel at how sound this recording is. Stuttering guitar chords build power in the songs. I am listening to the track Trouble at the moment. Powerful stuff. Higher and higher it goes with blistering guitar solos layered on top of some psychedelic stuff featuring manic drums, lots of cymbals and, as always, Cat Dowling’s voice. That magical, enchanting voice.
I was not familiar with Cat Dowling, so I had to do some research. She is from Dublin, Ireland and released her debut album, The Believer, in 2013. She seems to have flown under the radar because I can find precious little about her or her music. That is odd because her music should be played from the rooftops; she is that good, in my opinion.
Before she started her solo career, she was a member of two other bands, Babelfish and Alphastates. Two bands that I can’t find much information about. Regardless of where she came from, I have a good feeling about where she could very well be heading, that is, to the top of the charts.
I’ll let Cat Dowling tell us a bit about this album. “I wrote Animals during a busy period of my life when to find those rare moments to write music meant I had to be a thief elsewhere. But it was these stolen moments that gave me oxygen and a beautiful, almost supernatural energy. ‘Animals’ was written when everyone was sleeping. It started with the driving, repetitive rhythm, which had to be restrained so as not to wake a soul. It thus became hypnotic. It starts as minor and ends up major. It’s about the major and minor of life and of love and the constant pull in everything between major and minor and the light and the dark. It’s a song ultimately of passion, wildness, sensuality and love,”
Irish artist, illustrator, and animator, Marc Corrigan, created a stunning video for Animals. I’m not big on videos, but this one is a beauty. “Animals’ is a wild song. It never stops moving. When I first heard it, I could picture the ending straight away – a constant flow of wild animals morphing and twisting into each other. Once I knew that I just had to build up to it, set up a surreal morphing world. The imagery had to move constantly to keep pace with the music. It had to suggest animal instincts in a beautiful way. It had to be a constant high-energy piece that never let up and built to a crescendo. So I just kept drawing,” says Marc Corrigan.
The ‘Animals’ single is now available everywhere, including Spotify, Apple Music and Bandcamp. As of November 12, the full ‘Animals‘ LP will be released on CD, limited-edition cassette and digitally on Bandcamp, where it is available for pre-order. via Forever In Financial Arrears Records (FIFA Records).
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‘Animals’ single https://youtu.be/588mof6AgWY
Spotify https://open.spotify.com/album/1sf6TFd6Q92GuXCYK58IjT ‘Animals’ LP pre-order https: //catdowling.bandcamp.com/album/animals‘Freedom’ https://youtu.be/wBJpivONX7c