Catty Pearson releases debut EP

Catty Pearson

London singer-songwriter Catty Pearson, with her musical roots planted in folk, country and blues and her head set on unravelling some of the confusion she feels in today’s world, releases a stunning debut EP Time Tells Me (reviewed in our recent Singles Bar) on Wednesday 24th October, recorded by Rolling Stones producer Chris Kimsey. The launch gig is at Laylow in Notting Hill, London, on October 23rd with Ollie Clarke on the guitar, Lukas Drinkwater on the double bass and bass, Duncan on the mandolin and violin and James Larter on the drums.

These song hold up a mirror and reflect, beautifully and poignantly, what many of us are thinking and feeling.

“Her voice forms an oasis of serenity amidst the chaos of the world.” A fan. 

The new collection was recorded with Chris Kimsey, best known for his work producing the Rolling Stones at legendary Olympic Sound Studios:

“when you listen to Catty Pearson, take a deep, deep breath as her gracious soothing voice transports your blood pressure and heartbeat to a new vista. Truly unspoilt, a breath of Mother Earth.”

Catty, who has been compared to Norah Jones, describes Time Tells Me as her enquiry into materialism and the insidious creeping of technology into all areas our lives.

It’s not unusual for a singer-songwriter to question the state of the world today in their songs. What IS rare is to discover a young musician as prepared as she is to turn words into actions. Catty has lived with a tribe in Malaysia, walked across parts of Northern India with 1000 nuns to raise awareness of and help educate people about the detrimental effects of plastic and pollution on our planet, worked on a farm in California to learn skills for sustainable living, and most recently swam from Albania to Corfu to help raise funds for an orphanage.

So when she talks about the passion behind her writing, we know she’s not just paying lip service, and nor is she preaching. Instead she holds up a mirror and reflects, beautifully and poignantly, what many of us are thinking and feeling.

Catty grew up listening to the sounds of Neil Young, Donovan, Cat Stevens, Norah Joans, Eva Cassidy, Joan Armastrading, Bob Dylan, David Grey, Eddie Vedder, Moby and Leonard Cohen.

Time Tells Me will be released on Spotify and iTunes via AWAL. The EP features Ollie Clarke on the guitar, Evan Jenkins on drums, Lukas Drinkwater on the base and double base, Flora Curzon on the violin, Nichol Thompson on the trombone and Jansen Santana playing percussion.

Artist’s website:

‘Electricity’ – the first single:

SINGLES BAR 34 – A round-up of recent EPs and singles

THE STRANGE BLUE DREAMS – The Strange Blue Dreams (Holy Smokes Records, HSR006)

Strange Blue DreamsAt first glance, the front cover of the debut and self-titled album by The Strange Blue Dreams, might seem to hint at sci-fi or electronica. The back is emblazoned with an embroidered shirt Elvis would have been proud of. Just what is this band about?

On the CD player, a burst of fizzing electricity leads into the first track, also helpfully called ‘Electricity’, with its strong hints of Joe Meek and traces of Heinz’s ‘Just Like Eddie’ in the riff.

Here’s essence of Richard Hawley in ‘The Ballad Of The Sun And The Moon’, a dash of Stray Cats in the swaggering rockabilly of ‘Reverberatin’ Love’, a bathtub of lush doowop harmonies in ‘Twilight Zone’. ‘Pretending Everything’ layers up some Hawaiian guitar while ‘Jungle Drums’ comes straight out of a forgotten “Let’s do the whole show right here on the beach” B-movie. Playing ‘spot the influence’ could take all day.

Singer Dave Addison has a creamy voice with just a hint of rasp at the edges, which is very appealing and works perfectly with this style of music. He moves from croon to holler with fluid ease. The band, having spent the past five years honing its style, is tight and supple.

David Rae’s expert mandolin playing helps lend extra diversity and flexibility to the band’s sound, whether it’s a passing nod to Harry Lime theme Greek style or something altogether more klezmer. And on ‘(That’s The Place) I’m Falling’, a mariachi brass section goes full-on spaghetti western.

It’s fair to say this album throws in a bit of everything and the kitchen sink, drawing extensively on pop’s mid-50s to mid-60s heyday, with much broader references in the mix, too. It’s a brilliantly realised distillation of genres, where every song will remind you of at least three other great tunes you haven’t heard in ages and really should. Producer George Miller (one-time member of The Kaisers, whose Beat It Up album rides high in my estimation) adds to the overall impression that here are a bunch of truly dedicated devotees of the modern retro sound.

Put on The Strange Blue Dreams for an infectiously joyful listen and an instant feel-good party atmosphere. If your toes aren’t tapping by the time it finishes, see a doctor.

Su O’Brien

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Artist website:

‘Electricity’ – official video: