review: The World is Fucked – Cat Apostrophe

by kate whaite 

I’m sure I’ve seen Cat Apostrophe before, as a one-piece. Nosing around their Bandcamp, it’s ‘Open’ from ‘Gut Songs’ that I remember best. It’s a little haunting, this tune, like waking up on a bed of moss in a forest; a bit like the part in ‘Sleeping Beauty’ where Aurora dances with the forest animals but they’re all wearing a different bit of the prince’s clothes. [Why were the animals in Disney movies so much more attractive than the men? Probably because they had actual personality.] But this isn’t a Disney fairytale. The guitar’s rhythmic thumping is like a heartbeat, a reminder of the unseen danger in the dark. It’s Angela Carter.

Now, with ‘The World is Fucked’, Cat Apostrophe is bigger than it used to be. Joining Kirsty Fife are four new members, and a new musical take on things. Three songs long, the EP manages to make some concise statements about value, care, and perspective.

‘I Left My Room’ opens the EP. I like the flutter of keyboard, decorating a sparse and roughly elegant song. The chorus of voices sounds like a chant, an affirmation, almost a prayer of sacrifice. When the vocals dip towards the end of the track, the keyboard gives a comforting retro note.

Next up is ‘Roast Dinner/Comfort Eater’. It’s a simple, jaunty song, but somehow still remains quite sad. Lyrically, there’s an insistence on the importance of self-care that stays just the right side of the border between advocacy and caricature. Fife’s vocals are so melancholy as she repeats: “I want to know we’re doing okay now,” it’s hard to forget the chasm that can spring up between doing okay and feeling okay.

‘Small Things’ is the closer, and it’s a pip. Its soaring, naïve vocals remind me a bit of Belle and Sebastian, and so does the flute. It crescendoes into a beautiful, big, cobbled-together wall of sound at the end, managing to evoke satisfaction and anticipation at the same time. It’s a delight. This one is the saddest of the EP’s “three sad pop songs”, but it’s definitely the good kind of sad.

The bottom line is that you should hop on over to their Bandcamp and give them your money for these songs. Pop them on when you’ve got a minute to listen, and to feel, and to think.

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