Published Jun 11, 2019If Cat Clyde's first album drew similes of saloons and smooth bourbon, her sophomore release, Hunter's Trance, takes turns pushing deeper and pulling away from the bluesy roots. "Like driftwood in the ocean," she sings on "I Don't Belong Here," "I'm always moving with the waves."
The Stratford, ON-based musician veers with tact from quick to slow. Grand, busy guitar riffs and emotional-caress ballads are both in her wheelhouse, and both dominate on the record. If "I Don't Belong Here" seems frantic, then conflicted relationship songs "So Cold" and "Anymore" linger in sentiment. The former brings heavy bass as weight, while the latter harkens to a country tradition of reflection via candidness. "So Heavy" manages to play in both spaces: it's groovy, it's fresh, but when it drops casual, you slide down with it.
Cat Clyde succeeds in bringing a listener into her world with vivid lyrics and metaphor. The hollowness of bird bones become a symbol for Clyde's winter loneliness on the opening track. The acoustic version of "The River" is immediately followed by its electric counterpart, and draws the fleeting sense of and search for nature's wonder. The ordering of the parallel tracks makes for a rise to conclude the ever-shifting album. In a record that embraces change, duality of range, and heartbreak, do you choose sparseness or electric resonance in your search?
The emotion of blues and country collide in Cat Clyde to create something both delicate and rollicking. A hollow-boned bird soaring over rocky, ocean cliffs. (Cinematic)