For many of us, music is escapism. We wrap ourselves in our headphones and let go of everything around us. Perhaps no one is better at creating that sonic cocoon than Finnish outfit Cats of Transnistria, especially once you delve into the depths of Aligning. “Mountain High” opens things up, almost as an album itself, offering delicate touches and heavy notes to whet your appetite going forward. “Vampire” offers up the angelic beneath it’s brooding atmospherics, patiently bringing the vocals to rest atop. As you move into “Born Again,” a darker texture seeps in, though its still interrupted by the soaring vocal performance…if anything this only makes the song more haunting. In order to bring you out of that darkness, they offer up “Light” and “Wild Herbs,” sharing a natural warmth that provides the proper balance to the collection of songs; I think the latter is possibly my favorite track on this LP. The close of the album is much like the beginning, as “Aligning” seems very much like its own entity, book ending the listen with this exhilarating sonic exploration. If your one such listener looking for that other worldly experience, then grab Aligning from Soliti Music, out worldwide this Friday.
We’re only about a month away from the release of Aligning, the new LP from Finnish outfit, Cats of Transnistria. You’ll probably need at least two of the weeks leading up to the release just to digest the tune in full. The song is almost a meditation, a slow unfolding of emotional atmospherics coated in Henna’s vocals. A slight elevation and bright pop turn comes in around the 2 minute mark, but its fleeting and quickly turns towards a continued billowing of darkly tinged pop constructs. Just imagine your favorite dream pop band stripped of those buzzing guitars, replaced with sparse chords and patience and a never-ending tension. The new LP drops on November 29th via Soliti.
I’ve been covering the Finnish music scene for the last several years, and generally, I feel as if I’ve got a fair understanding of the musical landscape. That said, Cats of Transnistria always keep me guessing, as they seemingly do within their own works; they’ve evolved into this sort of brilliant slow-core pop act that fans of Bedhead or early Low would fawn over. Here, you feel the emotional tension build for over 2 minutes before the vocal notes dare peek into the track. From there we add textures, and at times, it seems like we’re losing touch with melody, losing ourselves in this discordant moment, only to be calmed by the warm blanket of song. I love the little imperfections, or the ones that seem as such, illustrating a desire to capture every emotion in its present state, perfect or not. This is cinematic brilliance captured in song form, which is what we can expect when Aligning drops via Soliti Music on November 29th.
I listen to more music that I should, and among it all, at the moment, nothing is quite as special as Cats of Transnistria. A wash of atmospherics open this number before strings and curling guitar lines add an ominous tone. That works perfectly to contrast with the angelic vocal performance that floats dreamily atop the sonic landscape crafted by the group. Then the group moves you in an entirely different direction, almost as if you’ve entered some forbidden forest with them before those strings come back to suck you into the realm. You’re not going to find another act operating so beautifully; look for their new album Opium to hit on February 2nd via Soliti.
The beautiful haunting of Cats of Transnistria is set to overwhelm you today with the new video for “Candy Man.” The opening moments of the song are dominated by the deepened tones of string arrangements, sprinkled with atmospheric flourishes behind. It’s actually a sparse track, even when the angelic vocals twist and turn inside the track, allowing the audience to extract their own emotions from the song. A dark wash on the video only reinforces the solemnity offered by the Finnish trio, and we expect nothing more than an enduring classic when the band release Opium early next year via their label, Soliti.
Cats of Transnistria are currently working on their second album, and while the work progresses, they’ve shared this tune as a peak at what’s to come. It’s an experiment in minimalist pop, offering little more than a single note and the powerful voice; it doesn’t need much more to carry the song’s natural beauty. As the track unfolds, tiny touches of strings and piano float in and out, creating a beautiful haunted atmosphere that will take you off into the ether. Looks like album number two is going to be pretty remarkable!
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Soliti Records is one of my favorite labels I’ve been able to befriend through running this site, and the label is celebrating five years as a label by releasing a combination wherein the band’s on the label cover other releases. For me, the highlight, at least from what I’ve heard is this great little cover of “Good Night” by Black Lizard (the original is from Cats of Transnistria). It holds onto the original’s soft beauty, but fills it out with a little more fuzzy distortion…leaving you with good things. The Soliti Five Years: My Brain Hurts A Lot Comp will come out on November 25th.
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Cats of Transnistria have appeared on our pages before, but I don’t think they’ve made quite the impression as this brand new single should make on your ears. It’s a slow moving piece, unfolding with quiet guitar notes beneath an incredible atmospheric background. Vocals don’t even enter the picture until 2.5 minutes into the track, effortlessly sitting atop the musical mix. As the song continues, you’re likely to be immersed as the volume of the guitars rings louder, building a huge sonic wall; it’s pretty perfect. This comes as an announcement to the band’s new debut, Divine, which will be released by Soliti on March 18th.
Sometimes I stumble upon incredible songs, wondering to myself how on Earth I wouldn’t post it…this is what happened with this brand new Cats of Transnistria single the band released today. The song consists mostly of lightly picked guitar notes, touched every so carefully so as to allow the strings to ring on for a bit as new notes are picked; it creates a quieted wall of sound that allows for the airy vocal entrance Henna. Her voice spectacularly floats in, floats out, fades away and is occasionally obscured by these brief bursts of discordant guitar. It’s one of those songs you can’t pull yourself away from, so that’s a perfect way to start off your week. This is their first new material since their Away EP, which you can grab from Soliti Records…just until we wait more great music from the duo.
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It’s difficult to capture the attention of modern listeners, especially with shorter attention spans and what not. That being said, I beg you to really spend some time with the latest from Cats of Transnistria. The song below changes landscapes from within the song, moving through gentle stages towards into more discordant moments, and then a return. Their Away EP has been nothing if not captivating, allowing me to really sink into my listening experience as I indulge in this version of constructionist pop music; the EP is out next week from Soliti. You can also check out the accompanying VIDEO.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/2-San-Francisco.mp3]