Conjuring images of mid-’60s San Francisco with slightly hallucinatory guitar riffs borrowed from the Jefferson Airplane and The Byrds, Alpha Cat is a NYC-based, mixed gender consortium providing a vehicle for singer/songwriter Elizabeth McCullough’s poignant tales of soul-searching and life lessons learned. Aside from the appealing, woozy to mid-tempo rock arrangements, nostalgic lyrical and instrumental overtones sift through these 13 songs, adding to the intimate feel of the album. The child’s dialogue on the intro to “Monsters” and sampled AM News radio leading into “Sometimes When I Wake” give the impression that you’re hearing Elizabeth share secret entries from a journal long put aside and forgotten. “Straw Hat” especially has a wearily beautiful, consoling sadness. While her vocals often emulate Beth Orton (her obvious influence), fans of Sheryl Crow and Rita Coolidge will be drawn to McCullough’s mature, assertive vocal style. Pearl Harbor is recommended if you like any of the artists cross-referenced here, as well as modern singer/songwriters like Beck and Joseph Arthur.
Alpha Cat: http://www.thealphacat.com/