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Cat Dowling – Photo Credit: Angie Pappas Constable
If you haven’t yet heard of Cat Dowling, thank your lucky stars that you are reading this article here and now as, after this, you won’t be able to get her music out of your head (and that would be a good thing – you can thank us later).
Her new album, titled ‘Animals’, was just released on CD and limited-edition cassette via Ireland’s FIFA Records (no, that’s not the soccer organization, but FIFA is short for Forever In Financial Arrears Records).
Based in Dublin but originally from the town of Kilkenny, Cat Dowling has, with this release, proven herself to be a formidable, genuine and unstoppable tour-de-force with immense talent, both as songwriter and performer. Every song on this album presents a new set of sounds, a music patterning and thematic content that differs from the other tracks on this long-player. It also seems that these songs may have been written at different times and under different circumstances. This ‘Animals’ album, like the glimpse into her life she presents in these offerings, is quite a beautiful journey.
Lauded as one of the most wonderful and evocative vocalists in Irish contemporary music, often drawing comparisons to artists such as Daughter, Karen O, Metric, Lorde, Kristin Hersh, Feist and Beth Gibbons. We could also add world-renowned singer-songwriter Yael Naim to that list. Dowling’s beautifully dark pop songs and husky, achingly intimate vocals will grip you from the outset. The former Babelfish and Alphastates frontwoman creates well-crafted songs that inspire.
The new 11-track long-player was produced by Gerry Horan with Dowling as co-producer, and mixed by Ger Mcdonnell (The Cure, U2, Van Morrison, Martha Wainwright, Shane McGowan, Sinead O’Connor), This album was partially recorded at Crossroads Studio in her native Kilkenny with support from Ireland’s Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media.
Dowling also presents a stunning video for the title track ‘Animals’, created by Irish artist, illustrator and animator Marc Corrigan, who has worked with such artists as Lil Kim, The Futureheads, I’m from Barcelona, Dr. Octagon, The Academic and Ham Sandwich. This is a song of movement, sensuality, wildness, love and freedom. A song about that beautiful part inside the human make-up that can’t ever and should never be tamed.
“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.
Earlier, Dowling released the singles ‘Freedom’, a lush slice of soulful pop perfection with video by Alba Lahoz, featuring her three free-spirited children doing their thing on the beach. The video for the preceding single, ‘Trouble’, was created by BAFTA award-winning director Fergal Costello, recalling a dark, comedic and violent tale set outside of 1981 Belfast.
In 2013, Dowling debuted with ‘The Believer’ LP, ranked in numerous ‘Best of Year’ music polls, including The Sunday Times. The title track featured in the second series of ‘Banshee’, produced by Alan Ball (Six Feet Under, American Beauty, True Blood) and the ‘Witches of East End’ TV series, featuring Julia Ormond. The song ‘Somebody Else’ was also used in ‘My name is Emily’. Cat has also lent vocals on many collaborative projects, including for ABC’s ‘How To Get Away With Murder’ with Emmy-winning actress Viola Davis.
FIFA Records is a steadily expanding label, who have continuously worked with exciting new Irish talent (Fight Like Apes, One Morning in August, Klubber Lang, Hope is Noise, Dae Kim, Lorraine Nash), as well as releasing material from more established names on the Irish indie scene, such as The Frank & Walters, Emperor of Ice Cream, August Wells, Power of Dreams and Whipping Boy.
The singles ‘Freedom’, ‘Trouble’ and ‘Animals’ are currently available everywhere, including Spotify, Apple Music and Bandcamp. As of November 12, the full ‘Animals’ LP will be released on CD and limited-edition cassette. It can be ordered via Bandcamp //catdowling.bandcamp.com/album/animals
Produced by Gerry Horan
Co-produced by Cat Dowling
Recorded by Karl Odlum, Gerry Horan, Jed Parle
Mixed by Ger McDonnell
Mastered by Fergal Davis
Performed by Cat Dowling, Gerry Horan, Jeremey Hickey, Marja Gaynor.
Music and Lyrics written by Cat Dowling
‘Animals’ video by Marc Corrigan
Also enjoy this chat between Dowling and Cat Dowling chats with Marc Corrigan, director of her ‘Animals’ single official video, about their connection and Marc’s inspiration behind the animated-storybook concept.
Dowling’s two earlier singles, both from this album:
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