Review – “Amateur” – Eden the Cat

amateurreviewed by Michael Thomas

Eden the Cat’s debut album is an anomaly among recent releases. It’s a first album that was created in about a week—and people can’t stop tweeting about it. Whether this is a viral marketing campaign or just good word spreading fast, people can’t seem to get enough of this.

Some background—Eden Rohatensky is one half of the Regina band Orphan Mothers, but has recently branched out solo under the guise of Eden the Cat. The majority of the songs of Amateur lean on folk. but the electronic influence of Orphan Mothers has a bit of a reach as well. Rohatensky is kind of like a more folk-leaning Rebekah Higgs, in that regard.

In fact, the first instrument you’ll hear on this album is vocals. Opener “The Other Woman” is a cappella, and Rohatensky, in a breathy voice, laments being “always the other woman,” and the eerie silence that falls between her lines makes the gravity of the song that much heavier.

The frustration of that song comes up as a key theme to the album as a whole. “Chorus” is a quick interlude that layers Rohatensky’s vocals as she sings “I can’t sleep” in several different pitches. This transitions nicely into the gloomy “Sleep Alone,” which is backed by just acoustic guitar playing a bunch of minor chords. “I don’t wanna sleep alone tonight, I can’t believe you’re gone,” is the key line of the song. “Used to Be,” accompanied by faster-paced strumming, goes over a bunch of plans that are quickly derailed.

The eerie “Ghost” is an album highlight thanks to its subtlety—Rohatensky’s slightly warbling vocals are supported by a subtle guitar and eerie background noise (keyboards? whistling?).

The album’s title track ends this quick offering with more layered vocals in a more experimental fashion than her other songs with lyrics about motherly advice. This is an interesting way to end off the album; should Eden the Cat decide to release another album, it would be awesome to see more looping over her folk-leaning lyricism.

Top Tracks: “Ghost”; “Sleep Alone”

Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)

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