Catcall’s debut full length has been a long time in the works. Some of these songs here, including the a capella title track, have been around since the sudden death of her father in 2006. She’s made no secret of her dad’s passing, sparking the inspiration for this expansive debut. Her history lies in punk music, with her DIY garage group Kiosk, then through to bratty hip-hop on her EP ‘Anniversary’. On her first LP under her own moniker, she’s arrived at pure, unadulterated pop.
Her voice isn’t classically trained, meaning that most of the soaring hooks are belted as opposed to sung. Despite the gloss on a lot of these songs, the album feels like a part of Catcall’s lineage, as opposed to a transformation. Her punk adolescence isn’t completely forgotten.
The bombast of ‘August’ could have heralded a true floor-filler, however its disco sheen is infused with a welcome grit. ‘Satellites’ breathes with pure ’80s pop euphoria. ‘The World is Ours’ is filled with familiar pop tropes, including the chorus lyric “you know that I love you/you know that we are true”, however in the midst of an album with such heart it comes across as direct sentiment, as opposed to a premeditated hook intended for maximum appeal. Meanwhile, ‘That Girl’ borrows its feel from Daft Punk’s ‘Digital Love’ and with soaring vocals, adorns with pure pop optimism; “that girl’s so complicated/wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Earnest ears would find the majority of Catcall’s debut album formulaic; the line “heard it before” comes to mind. However those ears would miss the fun one can have with this album. ‘Art Star’ revels in a Prince-esque groove, and aims at your funny bone with lines like “my name is acid/I’ll rain on your parade.”
In a time when pop music’s concerns barely make it out of the club; Catcall emerges as a reminder of what makes pop great. Instantly gratifying, optimistic, and sincere; it’s no small feat that when the album closes with the repeated line of “I love you”, you believe it.