So you meet a girl at a party. She’s super talented and shares your love of girl groups. You give her a mix tape of your favorite girl group/psych/soundtracks – and she writes a song which begins a new chapter for both boy and girl. This would be a story very similar to how Cat’s Eyes came to be. Cat’s Eyes is the stunning, heartbreaking project from The Horrors‘ (who have a new album coming this summer) Faris Badwan and soprano/multi-instrumentalist, Rachel Zeffira. Their music is immediately listenable, way outside of the realm of how their contemporaries create and compose.
Cat’s Eyes played their first show in December of 2010 at Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. The video for “I Knew It Was Over” (viewable after the jump) shows Faris, a small choir of young women performing with handbells and Rachel playing the insanely intricate Saint Peter’s organ. Outsiders are rarely able to perform
non secular music in the Basilica. An example; weddings may only be accompanied by the Saint Peter’s organist and a male tenor vocalist. With an audience present and Cardinals looking on, this performance is more than just a gimmick. It’s a beautifully written and executed moment in time.
Most of the pieces I’ve heard are unabashedly sentimental, including my favorite so far, the simple and spine tingle inducing “The Best Person I Know.” But there are some fuzzfest freakouts as well (“Sunshine Girls” and the self-titled “Cat’s Eyes.”) Comparisons are bound to be made, but more along the lines of songwriting and concepts. Phil Spector, Ennio Morricone, Joe Meek and Brian Wilson are obvious influences. Personally, Rachel’s stark, spooky melodies bring to mind the prematurely departed Trish Keenan of Broadcast; fans of Trish will definitely hear similarities in the vocal delivery and timbre that hovers above some of the more heavenly tracks. File under: Killing Me Softly…
The duo has only three dates in the U.S. lined up and promise a unique experience for those fortunate enough to attend. Visit their site for a free download of the track, “Not A Friend.” I’ve also put together a collection of videos to after the jump. “I Knew It Was Over” and “The Best Person I Know” are essential – I can’t wait to hear what you all think of them. Like last year’s Light Asylum find, I am smitten. Cat’s Eyes’ debut is out on April 11th, 2011. Photo by Chris Cunningham