Cat got the cream CAT POWER

Herald Sun - Hit - - COVER STORY - with MIKEY CAHILL

(DOMINO)

Now 10 al­bums into her ca­reer, Cat Power has been ut­terly, dev­as­tat­ingly con­sis­tent. Chan Mar­shall’s last record Sun was made in dev­as­tat­ing cir­cum­stances.

The smoky, sullen singer­song­writer came off a sting­ing breakup and gave us a big ol’ slice of her heart: “I’ve never known love like this, I’ve never known pain like this” she sang. It was a re­mark­able record, her Sea Change, her Blood On the Tracks. Hard one to fol­low up.

Wan­derer is a care­ful, tread­war­ily-but-con­fi­dently re­turn for Mar­shall. She pro­duced it her­self, ef­fec­tively pro­vid­ing both sets of foot­prints in the sand as she came out of a tough time and found peace.

“I wanted to cre­ate some­thing that was min­i­mal in bal­ance but would re­mind me that each song is not a mes­sage but a totem,” she said re­cently, nod­ding to her Chero­kee roots.

Most songs place Mar­shall’s inim­itable voice atop the totem pole, look­ing to­wards the sun so the shad­ows fall be­hind her.

The 1.14min open­ing ti­tle is a drum-less track that sets a tran­quil scene, a mood that isn’t bro­ken for 11 tracks of qui­etude.

In Your Face gets the train chug­ging along, You Get throws more coal in as the train steams along the tracks: “There’s noth­ing like ti­i­i­ime to tell you where you’ve been.”

She cel­e­brates her postTom­boy fem­i­nin­ity on Woman feat. Lana Del Rey, an adroit col­lab­o­ra­tion that could be cred­ited to The Great­est Raspers Alive.

Her progress is no­table, Mar­shall be­came a mother af­ter turn­ing 40, gain­ing a com­pan­ion that has clearly cen­tred her on this as­ton­ish­ingly steady al­bum.

Stay’s pi­ano tin­kles off­set

Noth­ing Re­ally Mat­ters’ brief step back to the dark side. You can imag­ine Cat Power us­ing this LP to lull her baby to sleep.

VER­DICT Calm and in con­trol, Chan shows off her soft power

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