Words: James Frostick
Artist image: Lou Conboy
Cerebral Hobart, Tasmania post-punk legends The Native Cats are back with a throbbing and piercing newbie. ‘Run With The Roses’ marks a complete shedding of inhibition for singer and synth wielder Chloe Alison Escott – an acknowledgement of her long-held wants and desires, and an eschewing of false guises and behaviours donned for the sake of politeness.
The last blistering run we experienced from The Native Cats was their phenomenal one-two punch of 2018’s John Sharp Toro LP and follow-up EP Spiro Scratch. Documenting and book-ending a period of personal growth and evolution, the two complementary works simultaneously closed one chapter and started another. The two-piece’s latest slice of music – a new 7″ release called Two Creation Myths, dropping physically next month through Rough Skies Records – finds us catching up with The Native Cats’ singer Chloe Allison Escott a year later as she explores a new sense of liberated living, acknowledging these days of existing closeted and closed off from herself and the possibilities open to her now that she is standing unbowed.
A-side track ‘Run With The Roses‘ kicks off in true The Native Cats style, with Julian Teakle’s bass notes rumbling and churning underfoot. This distinct sonic palpitation creates unsteady terrain, forcing listeners to watch their step and pay close attention to the shifts and nuances of the ground they tread upon. Throughout, Chloe interjects with synthetic flourishes and dominates our attention with her forceful speak-sing evocations and earnest revelations. Throughout the proceedings, Chloe divulges elements of her journey through quick-fire non sequiturs, through which she reckons with identity and overcoming the need to suppress the most vital aspects of it (“There were parts of my nature too shit-hot to hide“). She dips into her past and dealings with those who pretended to understand (or never cared to understand) her inner turmoil, or attempted to diagnose Chloe’s “internalised shame, where is it, and how to fix me“, often to no avail. In addition, there’s an element of sexual desire and the conscious unharnessing (and allowance of) impulse – a demand for her wants to be acknowledged and to be wanted in return (“I wanna run with the roses, I want to steal your love from the bulls“).
By the end of ‘Run With The Roses’, Chloe has cast off the restrictive shackles of self-doubt, declaring her intent to move forward and seize everything she denied herself in the past (“I want lush consolidation, I want life without end, and I want you to touch me, through polyester blend” and perhaps one of the most impactful lines: “I want to address this misconception that my heart was ever full“). Now, Chloe isn’t holding back – acknowledging a newfound vigour and internal fire. She’s running with the bulls – not just keeping up, but outpacing them.
Two Creation Myths will be officially released through Rough Skies Records on Monday February 10. You can pre-order your copy here.