Nothing brightens up your day like new music and all around good vibes. That was the case when indie rock band Kitten visited us on a fittingly sunny day in Brooklyn. The New York weather had been nothing but gloomy these days, so the ray of sunshine that Kitten brought with them brought some much needed warmth. I guess it makes sense, since the band was formed in bright and sunshiny Los Angeles by Chloe Chaidez.
If their name sounds familiar, it's probably because they have opened for other bands such as The Neighbourhood, No Doubt, Paramore, and Young the Giant, just to name a few. They have also played a couple of festivals like SXSW, Edgefest, and Summerfest - and how could they not? Their sounds are a perfect match for the festival enviornment.
In our session with the band, they played two unreleased songs as well as their latest single, "I Did It!". It was their first time playing stripped down renditions of their songs but you'd never tell. They also spoke to us about how they met and the possibility of starting a Brooklyn Backstreet Boys project along with a pizzeria musical. Yes, you read that correctly. Their group dynamic will not only keep you engaged, but also have you smiling the entire time. Mark my words, you are going to hear a lot more from Kitten soon.
New beginnings can happen at any time. KITTENs 2018 sophomore full-length and first album with RED MUSIC not only earmarks another chapter for frontwoman Chloe Chaidez, but it also feels like a fresh start.
For a lot of people, this will be the first time they hear about us, she exclaims. Its been a long time since weve put out a record. On one hand, I like to think of it as a comeback, for sure. At the same time, the sound has evolved and we really pushed ourselves musically and lyrically.
Energized by power pop propulsion, Britpop runway-readiness, sugary sweet hooks, and a whole lot of sexy swagger, KITTEN is strutting into new territory yet again. If Pulp and Roxy Music joined forces to write a score for the movie Blow, it might sound something like the New York quartet. The band have magnetically attracted a diehard fan base since the release of 2014s self-titled Kitten. Not only did the record bow at #9 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart, but it also yielded the hit Cut It Out. Between touring with everyone from No Doubt and Paramore to Charli XCX and Garbage, the group consistently earned the praise of Noisey, Interview, V Magazine, FADER, Pitchfork, Time, and more. Their standout 2016 EP, Heaven or Somewhere in Between, landed on Rolling Stones coveted year-end 20 Best Pop Albums of 2016.
In many ways, it set the stage for a rebirth.
By the beginning of 2017, the group had permanently relocated to Brooklyn after bouncing back and forth between New York and Los Angeles for two years. For the first time in their history, the four-piece eschewed hiring a producer. Instead, they wrote what would become the album as a unit and self-produced all ten tracks without any outside input. The collaborative process unlocked a new stylistic spectrum, tempering synths and guitars with personal, powerful, and provocative lyrics.
Among many creative revelations, Chaidez made palpable strides as both a writer and a vocalist
There was a halfway point where we collectively realized how much the lyrics meant to the music, she goes on. In the past, my lyrics may have been somewhat poetic, but they didnt often make a whole lot of sense. My goal was for the songs to connect and create a story. As much as I love them, soundscapes arent the entire focus. I deconstructed each song and made it very personal and direct. Additionally, I used to hide my vocals in a wash of effects. I really wanted to showcase my voice on this album. For me, what makes the record interesting is the contrast of stylish sexy music and confessional storytelling.
That combination drives the first single I Did It. A pastiche of robust guitars, neon synths, and boisterous vocals, the track illustrates the chemistry between the musicians as they shimmy, shake, and slip into an unbreakable groove.
It was one of the first songs we wrote together, Chloe continues. I was leaving L.A. and coming back to New York. Its a bit regretful, but also triumphant in that regret. There are a couple of lines that flew out of me. New York is a place you have to get really good at saying, 'No, because there are a lot of options or temptation. I was fighting those demons.
Elsewhere, Oh My God tempers a cinematic swell of keys with handclaps and a breathy refrain bathed in shimmering, yet unpredictable production, while the pensive and poignant Mercury examines the aftermath of her parents divorce with lyrical candor.
Through and through, this new beginning sees KITTEN bare their teeth and claws like never before.
I want people to hear and understand how much work that myself and the band put into this, she leaves off. For existing fans, Id love for them to feel the same way they did when they first heard us. This is our best songwriting. I hope the growth is apparent as Ive really grown up in this band. I was 15 when it started. Its crazy because, in many ways, KITTEN is literally who I am.