Catcall – The Warmest Place

Listening to The Warmest Place, it’s difficult to imagine Catcall – aka Catherine Kelleher – once fronted a rough-around-the-edges punk outfit. The Warmest Place gleams with a pristine electro-pop finish (and an icey varnish). It sounds so unquestionably slick, modern and refined that it’s poised to suck in anyone with a penchant for contemporary pop.

Single Satellites takes advantage of the production in play, a textbook earworm unfolding. Satellites ’ only drawback is, perhaps, that it’s too safe – a passive pop cliche. It doesn’t help that Kelleher is merely a competent lyricist, her expertise seemingly limited to superficial sentiments. On My Own reaffirms such a notion as Kelleher asserts “I just want to be me, I’ve got to be free”. It makes for a pretty enough chorus, but it offers little.

That said, there are some remarkably powerful moments scattered throughout the album. The sublime Swimming Pool, for one, must be celebrated. Strong, assertive and super-cool, the track sports an undeniable groove and resonates well-beyond its first impressions. Swimming Pool is the go-to track in which Kelleher’s potential as a pop artist is best realised. Meanwhile, the playfully percussive Paralysed offers a nice change of pace, its hypnotic hook among the most effective the album has to offer. It’s a fun, surprising interlude and hints that The Warmest Place dares to indulge in fleeting fits of experimentation. Art Star sees Catcall flirt with guitar-chirping, cowbell-slapping funk, the left-of-field inclusion tucked away towards the tail-end of the album.

Though the potency of Kelleher’s pop proves a tad unreliable throughout but The Warmest Place is very much a satisfying debut album and Catcall is without question an exciting prospect. The best is yet to come.