Alt-rock/alt-pop/Americana singer-songwriter Alpha Cat, aka Elizabeth McCullough, recently released her new EP, Venus Smile… Retrograde.
Speaking about the EP, Alpha Cat shares, “This record addresses the divisions in society and asks for them to be healed by addressing our commonalities. It’s a hopeful resolution and reconnection to a world that has become too divided, too extreme.”
Addressing the intimate nature of the lyrics, Alpha Cat says, “It’s really all about how a broken heart can show you what you are made of.”
Boasting a who’s who of musicians, Venus Smile… Retrograde features the talents of guitarist Doug Pettibone (Lucinda Williams, John Mayer,) bassist Reggie McBride (Stevie Wonder, Parliament Funkadelic, Elton John) and cellist Jane Scarpantoni (REM, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs).
Comprising six tracks, the EP begins with “Venus Smile Rx,” an edgy, mid-tempo song betwixt and between alt-rock and alt-pop. Alpha Cat’s dreamy voice imbues the lyrics with rich, oblique timbres.
Highlights include “Orbit Rx,” which for some reason conjures up suggestions of Nirvana on the intro, followed by the entry of Alpha Cat’s beguiling, nuanced vocals, giving the lyrics hints of mysterious savors. Rolling and undulating, the feel and flow of this track are haunting and hypnotic.
“All in Your Head Rx” rolls out on tight percussion gleaming, slightly lysergic guitars, topped by Alpha Cat’s enigmatic-flavored voice, at once pensive and polypharmic.
Two Radio Edits, “Orbit Rx” and “All in Your Head Rx,” tie the EP off. Speaking subjectively, the two songs are the best tracks on the EP, with the psychedelic textures of “All in Your Head Rx” providing a phantastic motion, while “Orbit Rx” is vaguely reminiscent of Liz Phair.
With Venus Smile… Retrograde, Alpha Cat delivers alluring washes of alt-pop and alt-rock, melded into expressive, contagious music.