Cat Power has always been an enigma to me. She writes some of the most amazing songs about self-inflicted destruction, shattered feelings, and unfulfilled destinies. They make you like her. But she always insists on pulling it all away from you, never letting you get too close.
So after another short hiatus, she has released a new single this week and an update on her next album, due in September.
This time though, she takes the spotlight off herself and her own selfish failed attempts at accepting fame and asks everyone around her what they’re all doing to fix the world. Certainly a lofty goal. With driving piano chords and percussion, the result is an up-tempo geographical exploration from the wilderness to “some little bitty island in the middle of the Pacific” to her own home town — and she wants to know why everyone keeps bitching and isn’t taking action, singing “we’re sitting on a ruin”.
It’s a very good first offering from a project that was started in 2006, just after she released “The Greatest“. It was sidetracked in 2008 when she released “Jukebox” — an album of covers — and then by a budding new relationship with then boyfriend, Giovanni Ribisi. After their break-up, Cat defiantly stated, “I cut my hair off three days after the break-up, got on a plane to France, and finished that shit.”
So here we are.