Rising like phoenixes from the ashes of Loman, Jason Quinsey, Ben Walker and Julian Crockford are back on the Sheffield music scene with a new name and lyrics just a shade or two darker than their previous incarnation. Kath Auto are an alternative electro indie band from Sheffield. They formed at the beginning of 2011 and already they have acquired a strong and supportive following, since getting back out on the Sheffield gig circuit. Since the band formed, they have been working very hard and getting studio time to record tracks for their lovely listeners and, by God, did they impress?
I’ll start off by mentioning Overdrawn, because this track is probably my favourite of theirs that I’ve heard so far. It is one of the earlier tracks the Sheffield trio have released and begins with a fusion of synth and bass sounds. A few seconds in, we get to hear Jason’s emotional and mature lyrics. His gentle voice suits this track so well and makes the song sound really moving. The band bring to mind the concept of death and how people feel when they are mourning the loss of someone; wondering why it happened and what to do. Although Overdrawn is quite an emotional track, it’s one of those songs that would still get your feet tapping along to the beat. It fades out with a pulsating bassline, which seems to be imitating the idea of a heartbeat, almost signifying life; suggesting that life does go on and death is not the end.
When I discovered Kath Auto had written a song called Arcadia, I was intrigued as to whether they were going down the pastoral route with the idea of arcadia being a place of spiritual enrichment and an escape from the stressful reality, and, yes, I was right. The track begins with an array of twinkling synth sounds that sound almost magical, before we hear the heavy thump of the drums and the sudden realisation that the idea of a perfect world is not all it seems. Jason’s lyrics convey images suggesting the harshness of country life and how it is merciless compared to city life. Yes, these guys definitely do make you think and they use really clever techniques to conjure up these ideas.
1441 has quite a different feel to it, compared to the other two. It is intended to be a war cry; however it does have more of an electro vibe. I love the synth sounds in this track because they sound like an excitingly mad fusion of electronic awesomeness in the space of three and a half minute and that can only be a good thing!
All Ready Blue begins with a combination of darker underground bass sounds and twinkling synths. It is quite an atmospheric track, tackling the theme of loneliness in a very clever way. I like how, again, the music reflects the theme of the lyrics.
Conway is quite a bit darker than the other tracks and the bassline definitely reflects this. I must say, the lyrics in this track are pretty impressive. I like the imagery of the ocean coming in to kiss the land and the line “I had a dream of a garden in bloom, the birds and the bees and the samurai trees were shining in the gloom” is simple, yet really effective.
Life Reprised combines quite a lot of different sounds together that you wouldn’t necessarily expect to work, but Kath Auto have definitely shown that opposites can fit together with expert hands. The song starts off with an electro feel, before we hear the calming, gentle synth melody, sounding almost like a lullaby. The vocals give us the sense of a love/hate relationship happening between the two people who are mentioned, and the two different synth styles could be thought to represent the ups and downs of this relationship. We get the idea of loneliness and this is indicated by the delicate precision of the individual notes from the synths. You can tell that the band have definitely put a lot of work into this track because it’s carefully thought through, it’s intricate and it’s beautiful…keep up the good work, guys.
Kath Auto are releasing their new EP, The Swerve, towards the end of January 2012.