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I Am A Cat EP

Within the first minute of the I Am A Cat EP, the deep, fatherly warmth of Magpies' lead vocalist David Broadhurst invites listeners of this spacey Sheffield folk act into an embrace of soft melodies and calm atmospherics.

This music is built to be heard whilst reclining on a still summer evening, letting the mix of acoustic and electric instrumentation meld together as it washes over you. The arrangements are subtly inventive and radiate tripped-out otherworldliness, but at the same time Magpies' music is never overstated, their tunes drifting by in the loveliest ways possible.

The steady build of the catchy synth line in opening track 'Ghost' gently nudges the song into a reserved, repetitive mantra, while the second half of 'DogMan' pushes into a more forward-moving, beat-driven journey which is eventually embellished by unexpected brass backing, adding a remarkably effective extra layer of shimmering brilliance to the texture.

Of course, the aforementioned country-esque, aged voice aids the relaxing quality of this release, but it's also hard to ignore the bizarre lyrics, which stand out strikingly against the otherwise largely serene musical palette. Lines like, 'Cut off your head / Scoop out what I said’,and, 'Your legs are long like a deer / Wiry and swathed in red’, don't seem to fit the mood, yet these quirks, combined with the equally odd promotional imagery the band use, their genre tags ('Cat Pop', 'Meow Rock') and the EP's title, highlight the individuality this band possess.

The lyrics to the title track in fact work well as a metaphor for the band themselves - travelling on their own path like the haughty pets many of us know and love. If being feline encourages the creation of such textural, expressive and unique music as this, then, frankly, I want to be a cat too.

Richard Spencer

by Now Then Sheffield