You know when a song feels like it was written for you?
When the words paint a picture all too close to home, pulling you into a place of stark familiarity. The stuff you feel in your soul. That’s been my experience with Cat Clyde.
Her music delivers an authentic sound that feels so simplistic and complete, it’s hard to pin down.
Maybe it’s the deep-rooted delta blues, a reminder of some lived history we’ve never experienced. Or perhaps the powerful falsettos that carry across chalky riffs. It could simply be her vocal depth – a ranging force that triumphs over finger-picking as if to feel like a work of nature itself.
Again, hard to put a finger on.
Her musical styling ranges from folk, to western, to blues – a sweeping sound that is at once powerful, yet calming. It’s like an homage to the dusty sounds of yesterday swilled with this newfound sense of grit.
Quite simply put, Cat Clyde is a true artist – both incredibly talented and unique.
But, there is nothing I can say about this singer-songwriter that her reputation doesn’t already. She has toured alongside the likes of Shakey Graves, L.A. Salami, ZZ Ward, Joe Purdy, Paul Kelly, and Rodriguez. And with around 4 million views on YouTube and over 100k monthly Spotify listens, people are clearly starting to notice this talent.
Fortunately, the timing couldn’t be better.
Cat just released “All the Black,” the first single off her upcoming album due later this year. The tune is taking fans by storm with a slightly darker delivery than previous work.
The song itself tells an unconventional love tale that humanizes pain. The sound carries a brooding want for comfort and the restlessness accompanied by taking refuge in others. All the while bringing a renewed sense of pain to the classic nature of any good blues song.
The music video itself is worth the ride too. Do yourself a favour and give it watch.
Having just returned from her two-month European tour, I had the lucky chance to catch up with the Stratford native (yeah, she’s a local) and Fanshawe Music grad.
Let’s see what she had to say…
So You’re back in Canada now?
Yeah I actually just moved to Quebec… I am really enjoying the freezing cold weather and staying cozy.
I really want to learn French and it’s not too far from home. Also I’m close-ish to New York, where I go quite often.
How was the recent European Tour?
Pretty crazy as it was the longest tour I’ve ever done at just over 2 months.
I took a lot of trains and had a lot of fun in so many great places, with time spent in Germany, Switzerland, Spain, UK, Scotland.
I also found the crowds were great as they seemed to be a bit more attentive, and just really great people all around.
Also got to tour with Sophie Hunger! She and her team were so awesome.
Did you have a favourite spot on the list?
Well, so many places were really fantastic – few spots in Germany that were amazing – really great people – and got to say in this cool farm house.
Switzerland was really fun too – went swimming in the freezing river which was awesome. The river was really coooooold, but you could drink right form it – everything was just so clean.
I saw you had posted a recent photo showcasing a new cabin too, did you take some time to recoup after tour?
Yeah that’s actually my new place – sort of out in the country, cabin vibes in the trees, it’s really fantastic…nice to have my own space.
I felt like I really needed a space like this to just decompress – especially after Europe – and recharge because that took a lot out of me. It takes a lot of work to travel all the time and it’s been really nice to just sort of enjoy the Canadian scenery… I also love winter – I dig it!
So, Cat, a bit of a heavier question but I’m curious, how do you approach your songwriting, like what does the process look like to you?
Well, I don’t like to put too much energy into thinking about it because I feel that’s kind of stifling. I just try to really write a lot and I find most of its kind of garbage but sometimes I get good things or a line or a sentence or a word that can spark an entire song.
Just by keeping up with that I can kind of pick through it and from the rubble I can find the gems in there and just try to make something of it.
I don’t really like to try too hard – if it’s too hard for me then I probably shouldn’t be doing it.
A fair point for sure. On that front, where do you go for inspiration?
Life, experiences, people that I meet, things that are going on in my own personal life, things that I wonder about and think about, care about and don’t care about. Just life man.
I saw the new release is set to come out Friday [see above!] Any news on that front?
Yeah! I am releasing a new album in April or May. Really excited about it as I’ve been working on it over a year – excited to have it done and out.
The artwork for the album was also done by Sophia Pega – who did the cover for the single as well.
Very exciting. Can’t wait for the release.
I noticed you’ve also been into stick and poke tattoos. How’d that start?
Just like hanging out with college pals, drinking a lot, and we were like let’s go get some sewing needles and some ink and do some stuff.
I’ve gotten a lot better – I use real tattoo needles and gloves and really try and do it proper. Just did two in the past week on a couple of pals – a French press on one of them!
Always love to ask, what’s the last song you listened to intentionally?
I just heard this song the other day – Jackson C. Frank, “Blues Run the Game.” Oh man it’s so sad – don’t listen to it around anyone as you’ll cry.
And, to wrap it up with something close to home, did you ever have a favourite spot during your time in London?
Yes Conservation area outside the city – I loved to take my dog walking there all the time!
Thanks for your time today Cat – really enjoyed our conversaiton and can’t wait for the new release this year. What are your plans for the afternoon?
I think I’ll go for walk. There are some chickens near by my place I want to feed – maybe bring them some food scraps, y’know, just enjoy the scenery.
Feature Photo via Facebook / @CatClyde