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Artist Spotlight: Catlow and “Pinkly Things”

5 years ago by Reg Seeton

Natasha Thirsk of Catlow releases the long awaited follow-up “Pinkly Things”

Catlow, acclaimed indie-pop musician Natasha Thirsk, formerly of The Dirtmitts, has collaborated with Vancouver heavyweights Jay Slye, Jeremiah Schneider and Brent Follett for the new album “Pinkly Things.”

Catlow’s first album “Kiss the World” reached the Top 50 of the Canadian Earshot! charts while also landing airplay in the UK on various BBC stations and in the United States on such popular shows as Heroes, The L Word and 24.

With an eclectic production crew on board for the creative process, “Pinkly Things”, Catlow’s long-awaited follow-up, was co-written by Dave Hodge of Broken Social Scene, Jamie Di Salvio of Bran Van 3000, and Mike Miguel Sanchez. And with renowned mixer Roger Swan (k-OS) lending his talent to a song, “Pinkly Things” is rich in production value.

So, how does Catlow vocalist, guitarist and keyboardist, Natasha Thirsk, feel she’s grown between “Kiss the World” and “Pinkly Things”?

“I think that I’m less likely to be super concerned with sounding specifically Indie-Rock,” said Thirsk ahead of her upcoming show in Vancouver at the Railway Club on December 21. “Not that I didn’t include a vast variety of songwriting with some electro stuff, singer-songwriter, full band stuff, I’m still doing that. But I’m more likely to just let the songs take shape themselves. I still want to produce them, but I’m not concerned with them fitting into a genre in the end.”

Natasha’s previous band, The Dirtmitts, had two releases on Sonic Unyon Records. The first self-titled Dirtmitts album and the second “Get On” both charted in Earshot! and CMJ with many song placements in television and film, including the theme song for the snowboard based series Whistler, which aired in Canada on CTV and MTV2.

Now that Natasha has moved on to Catlow, what did she learn from her time in The Dirtmitts?

“To experiment a lot really, ” added Thirsk, “and how to grow with other people. It was harder for me to do in that situation. Afterward I was a lot easier to work with on collaborations. When you’re first starting and you’re doing the majority of the songwriting, you tend to be a little more strict than when you’re working with ten people. You tend to relax a bit on how you take songwriting splits or sharing in general when you’re songwriting.”

“Pinkly Things” highlights Thirsk’s coy vocals as melodies flex their electro muscles over dense atmospheric guitar rock with a power-pop heart. Thirsk’s chilly neo-disco fuses hot indie-rocks with blippy synth to create sing-song melodies.

In June 2012, Catlow got a big boost of mementum when their music was featured in The CW series L.A. Complex.

In finding the right sound for “Pinkly Things”, however, time was on Natasha’s side as an advantage when it came to the creative process.

“I had a lot of time because I wasn’t on a label and there were no deadlines,” Thirsk continued to The Deadbolt. “Because of that, I ended up working with different groups of people and just let the songs evolve.”

In that regard, Catlow went into The Factory recording studio to record “Pinkly Things” in Vancouver, the old Little Mountain Sound studio where such bands as The Cult, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Motley Crue and more recorded classic albums.

“We recorded it one way and did a lot of production afterward in editing and mixing,” Thirsk elaborated about the recording of “Pinkly Things.” “Sometimes you go in with a direct vision with everything and sometimes it just creatively comes out in the process of recording.”

So, with a show at the Railway Club in Vancouver opening for D Trevlon on December 21, what’s next for Catlow?

“We’re in the thick of writing a new record,” admitted Thirsk, “which we’ll hopefully be recording in February. “It’s the end of the Mayan Calendar this weekend, so I thought it would be a really great night for a show and we’ll be trying out some new stuff that we’ll be recording.”

What do you think?

Reg Seeton

Reg Seeton created The Deadbolt in 2005 after working for the pioneering movie news website, Coming Attractions. Reg has over 15 years experience as a top online entertainment journalist and interviewer, has worked with several award winning actors, musicians and writers, and has managed entertainment networks in New York and Los Angeles. And he's done it all with one eye!