Qats (pronounced "cats") is a band formed by Helen Vaskevitch. The band seems to be some kind of loose collective. On their Bandcamp page they say “Qats is either a seven-piece retro pop band or a 50-piece celebration on wheels, depending on the occasion.” At any rate the band released an eponymous album Qats comprised of ten songs.
This album is definitely big sounding in a lot of ways. First of all there is a heck of a lot of instrumentation. Some of the songs reminded me of full-fledged productions you might hear in a Broadway production. There is a lot to take in but it’s definitely a journey that deserves attention.
The album starts with “Home In Your Cup.” You are greeted with an organ and a somewhat gospel vibe at first. There is a fairly significant bur seamless transition that brings to mind Vampire Weekend. Lyrically, there is also a lot to appreciate. It felt like philosophical insights that weren’t too deep and appropriate for the mood.
“Fed” displays a lot more of the band's versatility. As I mentioned there is quite a bit going on instrumentally. There is again this sort of festive vibe I correlate with Vampire Weekend. That being said I felt “Fed” was crammed with a lot of transitions in mood and melody.
“Cut Me Loose” was a song where I was feeling like I was listening to a full on production. It felt like something you might hear in a Disney movie or at their amusement park. There are some songs like “The Grove’ which start off fairly sparse but fill up with instrumentation. “Darkness” is an emotional ballad of sorts which might be the most epic of the batch. The highlight might be “Living” which reminded me of Grizzly Bear.
This is no doubt that this a very impressive album that the band worked very hard on. From beginning to end it sounds like full arrangements that could be on the screen. I was thinking about how incredible their live performances are when they pull this off. Take a listen.
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