The Cat Empire do what they do best on new release Cinema, blurring the lines between ska, jazz, funk, and rock, and colouring the festivities with a Latin flair that defies their Down Under roots.
The band’s fifth studio release – their first since the acclaimed So Many Nights in 2007 – will be issued July 6 in the United States, two weeks after it is unveiled in The Cat Empire’s Australian homeland, where they have attained multi-platinum success many times over en-route to becoming one of the country’s hottest musical exports.
The Cat Empire will celebrate the release of Cinema with a string of US performances, including headlining dates at The Fonda in Los Angeles (July 3), Ravinia in Chicago (July 6) and Webster Hall in New York (July 30). The band will return to America for a full-length tour later this year.
Hailed for their smoldering live show, The Cat Empire looked to the stage for their inspiration on Cinema, and the results are their most dynamic and streamlined album to date. “This album has emerged out of a sound we have developed on stage over years of playing together,” says singer and percussionist Felix Riebl. “In the past, we often pieced songs together in an eclectic cultural mix, but with this there is a much more integrated and unique Cat Empire sound that runs consistently through – the lyrics are perhaps darker, but they are accompanied by music that is often uplifting, so there’s a strange, but powerful feeling to it.”
That power is fundamental to the band’s live performances, which have included headlining sets atop international festivals including Bonnaroo (U.S.), Summersonic (Japan), Rock am Ring (Germany) and V Fest (U.K.), marquee billing on the Montreal Jazz Festival, where they performed before an audience of 300,000, and appearances on television shows including network heavyweights Late Night with David Letterman and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
“The new album was made of songs that were designed to be performed live,” says McGill. “We took the best parts of our live show and used them to inspire each of these songs, and the plan is to deliver the best live show that we can. I think the audience can expect to be blown away.”
“At times the album is thoughtful, at times it makes you just forget and dance,” adds Riebl. It is an album that has more sonic depth than we’ve ever had before, experimental in parts but with really direct choruses – it’s going to be a great album to play live, especially on big stages and at festivals.'”
The Cat Empire is Felix Riebl (vocals, percussion), Harry Angus (vocals, trumpet), Ollie McGill (keyboards), Ryan Monro (bass), Will Hull-Brown (drums) and Jamshid “Jumps” Khadiwala (decks, percussion).
Cinema Track Listing:
3. Feelings Gone
4. Only Light
5. All Hell
7. The Heart Is A Cannibal
8. Reasonably Fine
9. Call Me Home
10. On My Way
11. Beyond All
Cinema Release Dates:
June 25, 2010 Australia
June 29, 2010 Canada
July 6, 2010 United States
August 2010 Europe, Japan
The Cat Empire online: