Out of Ontario, Canada, Cat Clyde play country styled blues in spare arrangements led by a female vocalist with range and an attitude reminding me of Jenny Lewis or a more refined Scout Nibblet. Accompanying the lush vocals are a slide guitar or a tack-piano and a gently strummed bass. The band steps out of the past into the present through the modern twist on an old timey sound.
Her debut, Ivory Castanets, was released to a groundswell of praise that has continued to gain momentum over the past couple years. In 2019, she has released two singles- “Anymore” and “All the Black” both of which stand on their own merits.
“All the Black” is slow blues and it’s arresting with visual lyrics describing fear, love and sacrifice. It’s about the suffering in relationships and staying in them because they can paradoxically kill the same pain they create. She repeats the refrain “If I could soak up all the black, I would soak up all the black” intimating her willingness to sacrifice for the promise the relationship holds. It’s a heavy song that will have you furrow your brow and slowly shake your head to the beat in solidarity with its universal themes.
“Anymore” has a classic country sound. that leaves so much space for her to flex her vocal muscles. Thematically, is it a sequel to “All the Black” perhaps? It’s about loss and the realization your partner isn’t as interested as you are. It’s not pining about getting back together but in a melancholy manner realizes that “You don’t need me anymore.” The flat way she says/sings “anymore” captures the feel of this drawn conclusion.
I stumbled upon Cat Clyde, whose 224,000 some odd monthly listeners on Spotify suggest I’m a bit late to the game. However, fortuitously, right on time! She launches a tour with J.S. Ondara next week in D.C. concluding in April at the Casbah in San Diego- my hometown, so it looks like I have another show to go to.
If you dig a bit of the country and a dash of blues born in the heady breezes of powerful lyricism and heavy pathos, then listen to Cat Clyde. See you at the show.
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