Catpack release debut album ‘Catpack’

‘Catpack’, from Los Angeles trio Amber Navran (of Moonchild), Jacob Mann and Phil Beaudreau, is the cat’s meow. Their debut album ‘Catpack’, a quirky, light-hearted project featuring 11 tracks includes the singles ‘What I’ve Found’, ‘Walk Away’ and ‘The Top’.

Buy/listen to the debut Catpack album HERE

The genuine camaraderie and mutual admiration shared among the three creatives in Catpack is palpable in its organic, joyful exploration of musical expression, with Amber adding “to me it’s three people with distinct sounds who love and admire each other, coming together to make something new”. The result is an authentic convergence of their artistry, drawing on their influences to harness a jazz-influenced R&B sound, with neo-soul, funky and electronic motifs. The whimsical namesake is taken from a synth patch resembling cats meowing that they discovered in the studio and an ingenious merch idea that followed (search Google for catpacks).

‘What I’ve Found’ is the group’s debut single and a song, both lyrically and musically, about being sick of holding back and not taking up too much space. Built from the Roland Juno synthesiser, ‘What I’ve Found’ is a creative symbiosis between the three band members, who unapologetically all go full in, running with every idea that is thrown into the hat. The outcome is a complementary cohesion built on mutual respect and appreciation. Talking about the meaning of the new single, Amber explains: “Sometimes, in the journey of finding your inner strength and knowing your worth, people close to you become uncomfortable with you taking up more space. They’re used to the small version of you, or their own self-worth is tied to their perceived position above you. This song is a middle finger to the people who can’t love you as you shine brighter and brighter and a love letter to the new, beautiful you”.

The witty, funk-laden “Walk Away”, exudes confidence both in its composition and conviction, serving as “a reminder that.. if things don’t start changing, then it could be time to go”. Jacob’s dynamic, funky synth-scape rises and falls to make space for Amber’s delicate, hazy vocal and chirping flute lines. The lyrics are coolly self-possessed, asserting, “I know how to walk away” and “Somethings got to change. Don’t you go forgetting”. The no-nonsense delivery is upheld by gingery instrumentation, with layers of staccato synths, guitar, Corey Fonville’s percussion and statement trumpet.

Elsewhere on the album “Next To Me” is an amusing jest about the extremes of an all-consuming devotion to someone, urging a partner to “take vitamin C and wear their sunscreen in the quest for an enduring love”. The humour is carried through in the meowing synth, layered over Amber and Phil’s buttery harmonies.

Phil emotionally summarises the wholesomeness of the project: “I don’t know if I’ve ever felt more like myself than when I’m making music with Amber and Jacob…. It’s an amazing feeling to work with people whose art you’re in awe of, but it’s something deeper when there’s space for friendship. That chemistry is a gift, and it makes the work so easy to do.”