Cat Martino has been releasing some incredible music for quite a few years now.  Whether collaborating with Sufjan Stevens, Sharon Van Etten, or releasing music by herself, it has always been obvious Martino has an incredible ability to create stunning music with her voice. After releasing mostly folky solo releases, Martino has teamed up with multi-instrumentalist Sven Britt to create the much more electronic project known as Stranger Cat.

Stranger Cat is quite the fitting name, as the duo’s debut record, In The Wilderness is quite different from any release associated with Martino to this point.  Right from the start, In The Wilderness proves to be a dreamy, hypnotic, and strange record. The first track, “Empty Little Word” starts with a loop of Martino’s voice, and builds into a stunner of a track.  “Sirens”, one of the early singles from In The Wilderness, features some of the most powerful vocals on the record over some really intricate and stirring synth work. The title track, “In The Wilderness” is a bit of a scaled back track, Martino’s voice has an ethereal quality about it, but the synth goes into some strange, dark places, and it just sounds incredible.

While Martino’s voice is going to get a lot of recognition on this record, Sven Britt brings some really innovative, unique, and weird stuff to the table. Tracks like “Remember Me” just sound incredible, the combination of piano, synth strings, and percussive beeps take the track into another world.  “Ecstatic Energy” features a lot of that, tons of energy, sampled voices and a killer beat.  The closer, “I Promise” is pretty minimal compared to the rest of the record, despite featuring a guest appearance from Sufjan Stevens.  It starts out with Martino singing over Omnichord before being joined in by some gorgeous lush harmonies.

In The Wilderness is full of stunning, gorgeous, lush, and weird sounds. Martino and Britt have truly hit on something here.  Be sure to check it out on April 14 on Joyful Noise Records. Until then, it’s streaming via the New York Times, and you can take a listen to “Sirens” below.

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