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The Cat Empire

Who? This Australian collective has doubled since beginning as a trio in 1999, and it comes equipped with its own dancers, horn section, and crowned cat-eye logo. In the past three years, the Cat Empire have dropped three albums, recorded in Cuba, and played to hundreds of thousands at festivals Down Under. The sextet’s latest release, Two Shoes, was released this week via Velour.

What’s the Deal? The band’s Ollie McGill taps out jazzy chords on his keyboard while Harry Angus trumpets in ska, and it’s all funked up by Ryan Monro’s bass. The muscular versatility of their soundscapes is expanded by airy oohs and lightened by Felix Riebl’s speedy, laid-back vocal delivery as he makes references to parties and “zippety-do-dah”s. Totally sublime, mate.

Fun Fact: In 2004 the troupe was a support act for James Brown’s Australian tour. ANDREA HART

Now Hear This:
The Cat Empire – “The Chariot” DOWNLOAD MP3

Talk: If you built an empire, would you admit these Cats? COMMENT

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