With a humming vibrato, Cat Dail comes slinking into the spotlight in the opening track “Can’t Buy Love,” from her new album Fight For Love, out now wherever credible independent music is sold. In a song that is structured out like an old school crooning soul ballad, the melancholy of “Can’t Buy Love” exists purely, and innocently, in its mischievous lyrics. It’s almost as if Dail is irreverently thinking out loud, like a Dylan style diary entry, and we’re listening to her inner thought process unfold. The swinging “Player” follows up with a defiantly swaggering stamina driven behind Dail’s brooding vocal delivery. I don’t know if Fight For Love was designed to come off as eclectic as it does, but it is deliciously colorful when taken in as a single piece instead of being broken into individual tracks. That said, songs like “She Can Fly” and “Molly & Matchbox” can easily stand on their own as solid singles, further exhibiting just how much depth this burgeoning singer/songwriter really has in her repertoire.
2018 is proving to be a very interesting time for popular music. On the one hand we’ve got a lot of aging acts looking to stake their claim in the next decade before they lose all of their relevance, and on the other we’ve got exciting artists like Cat Dail who are far too busy forging their own unique identity to care much about what the outgoing stars are trying to conjure up. I’m not saying that all of your favorites won’t be around come 2020, but it’s unquestionable that the reigns are being passed to Dail and her contemporaries, as listeners have been hungry for an exciting new sound for a while now. It’s time for the next era in music, and if Fight For Love provides any clues as to what that era will sound like, we can expect a lot more experimentalism and a revival in the rhythmic, psychedelic-tinged beats of classic funk. And who better to lead us into that era than someone who despite being criminally underrated has continued to evolve her career thus far?
The most intriguing thing about this new generation of emerging experimentalists and sonic adventurers is that they’re not rejecting their forerunners as much as other revolutionaries like Nirvana or the Beatles did. Instead, they worship the path that their ancestors carved out amidst the chaos and ever changing tastes of pop culture, and they’re using their exploratory spirit as a guide in making their own new styles. It’s a phenomenon, and Cat Dail is very much a part of it. In Fight For Love, I hear plenty of shades of funk, R&B, psychedelia, even some proto punk, and all of it feels like it pays homage to our most beloved music icons, but not once does it feel like I’m listening to something woefully unoriginal or derivative.
“I highly recommend that music enthusiasts of all tastes and backgrounds give Dail a listen and hear for themselves what this new phase of post-pop sounds like; it’s not as intimidating an experience as you may be expecting”.