Coming from the same program at Algonquin College, Andrew and Matt decided to form a band. At first the band was meant to be a six piece blues band. Eventually they said “F that, let’s be an alternative folk duo.” They clearly had trust issues. That’s when Weird With Cats was born. Today they are joined by Benjamin, Dean, and Jared to become a folky quintet.
The Weird With Cats’ album What She Wants Me to See, is a stream of lush, jangly acoustic folk-pop, edged with a dash of baroque and alternative-rock. It is an excellent introduction to the rough-edged grandeur, glorious instrumentation and vivid lyricism of this band.
There’s something very warm and welcoming about the Weird With Cats’ music, and there’s hardly a song on this album that doesn’t contains that warmth. Even the bittersweet songs which focus on personal and human issues have a strong feeling of soothing beauty.
The band stand midway between Jack Johnson and The Lumineers. Their songs are wrapped in lush melodies of striking music, which happily swirl together folk, classic earthy pop, and a bit of roots rock in an almost live setting. The acoustic guitar is the lead instrument here; sometimes it’s right up-front, and sometimes it’s intertwined with a smooth mix of other instruments; percussion, banjo, uke, and a hint of the electric guitar being plucked and strummed somewhere.
Eccentric and familiar at the same time; What She Wants Me to See is nothing short of spellbinding. The album packs a futuristic vintage punch, while Matthew Francis’ voice is always in reverberating eloquence, and the band’s playing constitutes the very same greatness. The music is full of a mystical, graceful and invigoratingly spun tales.
Five tracks of which “We Are Men (But Call Us Fools)” and “Converted to Nothing” featuring Pina Capuano, stand tall, head and shoulders above the rest. But besides the usual verses/choruses, there are instrumental and vocal interludes during the songs, which sound like events in themselves. They’re usually melancholy and mysterious, and sometimes suspenseful, but always well timed; adding yet another dimension to their musical arrangements.
Lyrically, Weird With Cats frequently create a spellbinding and spiritualistic effect. The music is absolutely listenable and deeply enjoyable and somehow makes you feel like you’re sharing in something quite special. This 5-piece band exists in a space that is simultaneously otherworldly and tangible, organic and ethereal. And if you attempt to specifically pin down exactly who it is you are hearing in their sound, your list will just grow longer and longer.
Overall, What She Wants Me to See is a great album. Grab it, if you’re at all interested in atmospheric music that blends an acoustically driven sound, with fascinating modern melodies. In the meantime the band is hard at work on their upcoming album, which promises further elements of pure musical quality.
Weird With Cats are Percussionist: Andrew Pomfret, Guitarist/Singer: Matthew Francis , Bassist: Dean VanDorsselaer, Banjo/Uke/Guitar/Multi-instrumentalist: Benjamin Sperling, Drummer: Jared Burns.
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