Tender, roughly recorded acoustic songs by Paulien Rondou, or Catbug, as she is known to the world. Her debut album, ‘Universe’, released on Illuminine, the record label of Kevin Imbrechts (that offers a home for melancholic lo-fi tune). is not just another run-of-the-mill album, it’s more of an intimate story, told through eleven bedroom recordings.
In Rondou’s music, there are echoes of Joanna Newsome, Feist, Low, Cat Power, Mount Eerie and even a little bit of Joan As Police Woman. The songs are fragile, sometimes cheesy, soft meandering songs in which the Antwerp-resident sings captivating, simple and folky tunes, sometimes with a sultry vibrato or a whispered, airy falsetto. Her songs are at times small and cute but also deep-rooting and soul-breaking.
Catbug, in her own words, is “just singer-songwriter”, guitar in hand but with the focus being on her voice. When recording, Catbug’s vocals are more layered – often in a subtle way.
Catbug takes the listener on a journey which reflects her past years on a personal and artistic level. She hopes her audience can find her in the sound and feelings she does her best to convey. “I hope they like it that it sounds so lofty. It would be cool if I feel like I get when I listen to musicians that I like – at the same time courage and inspiration and also super-emotional – could bring about in people. Hopefully, that does not sound too arrogant. For me, there is a lot that I want to give to people and I hope they have something to do with it.”
Think of wildlife dreams or the worlds of movies such as “Old Joy” by Kelly Reichardt and “Cemetery of Splendour” by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, and you’ll find yourself on the planet Catbug.