Once again, The Cat Empire have delivered an album of festival bangers set to raise the roof. Sassy, soulful, reflective – Rising With The Sun packs a serious punch.
Opener, Wolves, released in March last year and placing at number 79 in Triple J’s Hottest 100 (their 11th song in the countdown for the 11th year in a row) comes with all the expected trimmings of an Empire tune. As does the latest single Bulls – an infectious and effervescent offering (with a suitably whacky film clip to match).
According to vocalist and percussionist Felix Riebl, Bulls was inspired by a dream, “Almost, just before I woke up, there was a guy in there showing me a rhythm. It’s very distinct. That song came straight from there. I think we run the risk of sounding pretentious to say that songs come in dreams, but sometimes they really quite literally just appear that way. That’s a real gift.” And what a gift it is.
With it’s playful reggae flavour, Midnight, written and sung by Harry James Angus (vocals and trumpet), takes things in a seductive new direction while Blasting Away sees a return to their usual frenetic form.
You Are My Song, is a definite stand out with its catchy horn hook, almost gameboy-esque electronic underlay complete with Harry’s soaring falsetto. The genre-defying Eagle is another noteworthy contender, with the ululating melodies and vocal hooks gliding over a marching beat.
Bataclan, proves a powerful and stirring response to the 2015 terrorist attacks on the theatre at which The Cat Empire had played many times. While title track Rising With The Sun, is a nice slow burner.
Daggers Drawn is about the closest you’ll get to the controlled chaos of their live performances on a recorded track with some killer work from Ollie McGill on the keys.
There’s no denying the overall tone of the album is one of celebration. According to Felix, this album is about, “’celebrating’ what the Cat Empire is, and what it means to people to come to the shows and be a part of that.”
The intention for these songs is very clear; “You can play it on a big stage. The choruses are ones people can sing. The rhythms really work.” It’s difficult to argue with that.
Rising With The Sun achieves the perfect balance of everything we’ve come to expect from The Cat Empire over the years with a few fresh flavours added in.
‘Rising With The Sun’ is out March 4th, you can grab a copy here.