On the surface, everything about Stranger Cat is seemingly happy. From the sidewalk chalk color scheme of their album cover and promo photos, to the ego boosting synth beats driving the majority of their songs. But this Brooklyn duo was born from a place of pain and heartache, not unlike most champions of creativity that somehow fought their way through the tar pits of depression and rode home bareback on a fantasy pony to enjoy a nice lunch and a nap.
Led by Cat Martino (best known for her work with Sufjan Stevens on his Age of Adz and All Delighted People albums, as well as their accompanying tours) and co-producer/multi-instrumentalist Sven Britt, Stranger Cat’s debut album, In the Wilderness, was inspired by a horrible breakup that Martino went through in 2012, the stress of which caused a resurgence of a dormant neuromuscular illness, and a need to refocus her priorities.
Knowing that the brash and less than sensitive streets of NYC were no place to lick wounds, Martino took to the Sierra Foothills to clear her mind, heal her heart, and eventually record the songs that would become this album.
The first single off the debut, “Sirens” is impossible to listen to without almost immediate head bobs and shoulder rolls of some sort. If you’re feeling anything less than fantastic, this will help you get there.
The duo, who got the inspiration for their band name from a cat that would visit them at their recording space from time to time, just returned from playing a handful of shows in Austin for SXSW. I tried to reach out for a quote while they were down there, but I lost them to what I can only assume was a severe case of breakfast taco coma. If I had to guess, their response back to me would probably have been something along the lines of: “Our feet hurt, we’re dehydrated, and we’re tired of saying words out loud.”
I’ve yet to see this band perform live, but I’ve heard that their stage setup is as vibrant as their music. Apparently sequins are involved sometimes? Well that’s fun. I’m hoping that down the line they take a page from Martino’s buddy Sufjan and start incorporating balloon drops into their shows. Who doesn’t love a good balloon drop?
In the Wilderness comes out on April 14th via Joyful Noise and can be pre-ordered HERE.