06.28.2015 — “Blue Star” by Cattle


If you only listen to one song today, make it “Blue Star” by Cattle (2015, from the forthcoming EP Somehow Hear Songs).

Cattle is a shoegaze/dream pop quartet from Tokyo. Loud, fuzzy guitars. Lots of effects. Female vocals. All the good stuff. They haven’t been around very long, and I haven’t been able to learn anything about them. I happened upon their music today while visiting a forum to find something new and shoegazey and Japanese. There’s a bunch of great shoegaze coming out of Japan, and all of Asia really. Unfortunately, most of it is really difficult to lay hands on in this country. A lot of things are released only in Japan on small labels, in limited vinyl runs. Getting stuff shipped from Japan to the US is also expensive. All of this means that it’s prohibitively expensive to get a lot of things here, if not impossible. Fortunately, the forthcoming debut EP by this new band will have digital and physical distribution in the US via Seattle-based Jigsaw Records.

This isn’t the song that sunk its hooks into me, but this is the one that I’m digging the most right now:
“Blue Star” by Cattle

The intro to the song –the first 13 seconds– is a melty, gooey salute to MBV. It’s what happens next, though, that really gets me going. I love the big burst of sound. The sonic wave and undertow. It’s absolutely brilliant. There’s a steady churn that’s deliciously intoxicating.

According to the description provided by the folks at Jigsaw records, the lyrics are in English. I can’t really tell. There’s a line at the end of the song, and if it’s in English, I can’t even begin to make it out, but it happens at 3:03 to 3:07. Within one tiny vocal phrase, her voice goes up and down, and breaks just a tiny bit. I love that. That little bit reminds of something from early 90s US shoegaze, and I can’t quite place it. Again, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that this is a great song from a fantastic debut EP.

This will be out on Wednesday July 8, and you can go ahead and order it now via the Jigsaw Records bandcamp page here.

Oh. Here’s a video of the band performing the song live back in January of this year. Their performance is very rigid and business-like, but it’s still pretty cool to see. I hope they’ve worked their way out of that.

About dlee

North Carolina born and bred. I'm a restaurant guy who spends free time listening to music, watching hockey and playing Scrabble. I have a bachelor's degree in political science and I will most likely never put it to use. View all posts by dlee

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