Cat and Calmell are a Sydney-based Gen-Z duo who released an EP on the 25th of June this year. Cat Strat was born in Australia and moved to China before moving back to Sydney at 14 years old, where she met Calmell at an after school program. They’ve been inseparable ever since. In an interview with Notion, Calmell stated that befriending Cat has allowed her to step outside her comfort zone. Despite their differences in childhood, they are like-minded and balance each other out.
Musically, they are inspired by Kali Uchis, poet T.S. Eliot, and even Twitter memes and discourse. They use their conversations as inspiration for music which is evident in the EP’s lyrics. The line “I know the world is kinda ending, it’s so silly to think that we’ll make it that far” in Get Old is the perfect example. They aim to connect with their audience emotionally and to make them feel seen as they cover their personal experiences that they feel are relatable. The EP reflects friendship, relationship drama, and the environmental crisis (see: “Dramatic”). It will most definitely contain a song (or two… or eight) for your summer playlist. The perfect tracks to start with are: “Dramatic,” “Get Old,” and “Life of Mine!”
Before proceeding with the rest of the article, I do think you should listen to the EP first, as it contains our thoughts on each track!
“Dramatic” is a song that captivates you from the first few seconds with its badass energy. It is a song that would play when the mean girl of a coming-of-age movie is introduced, or in a trailer of a movie that is reminiscent of ‘Mean Girls’ (2004). Their take on teenage angst is very on par with the trends in music this year. The duo have explained that this song was in response to the ignorance that men in power have shown regarding the climate crisis. This is a song that has been on repeat since it was released as a single in January. The fact that it is actually the opener of the EP blows my mind—such a good choice.
“Therapist” has a solid bass with sultry vocals. The transition from “Dramatic” to “Therapist” is amazing. It follows the aftermath of a breakup—almost like someone is trying to get over the person who called them ‘dramatic,’ even if they know they should.
“Jorge” is such a fun song with roller rink energy. It can also be something you listen to when carrying out errands—we love a versatile bop! Warning: will get stuck in your head, but in the best way ever.
“Intentions” uses a mellow bass, thus giving a different vocal approach in comparison to the other songs prior, which for a first EP release, was a good touch as it shows the range and variety that this duo has to offer. It is also quite sultry in its theme.
“Wait Around” is another one of my favourites and is always playing in my head. I love the lyric “I don’t mean to be dramatic” as it links it back to the first song—very Taylor Swift of them to do. It is a complete 180º from “Intentions” since it is super dreamy and soft. It alludes to the feeling of wanting to call someone but you can’t, which is very relatable. However, it can also be looked at as a song of regret as they express their irrationality of waiting around for something bad to happen, causing them to lose our experiences that could actually be positive. The line specifically “I wait around to run out of cash again, to run out of friends”, elaborates on the pessimistic mindset that we can have at times.
“Get Old” is very much a song for days where you feel like you’re in a coming-of-age movie. It would definitely be my tunnel song, which if you know the story of The Perks of Being A Wallflower, is a huge honor. It captures the existential crisis that occurs when you are in your early 20s. There is also a sense of reflection but also a craving to skip ahead to the days that are a lot easier (thus, getting old). The energy this song exudes running around the city doing anything and everything at 3 am (fully vaccinated) on a Tuesday morning.
If you want a song to play at your summer parties, “Dumbshit” is the one! It is the first song they ever released, so it has a special place in my heart as a long-time fan of theirs (not to flex, but I was here before they were famous). In contrast to “Get Old,” this song is about reflecting on the memories you’ve made with your friends.
Lastly, “Life of Mine” is the duo’s favourite song and I completely understand why. It focuses on the consequences of doing dumbshit and being young. The contrasting vocals symbolises the overthinking that occurs after you’ve made a mistake and you are filled with regret; such a perfect way to end the EP. The line “I don’t envy this life of mine” is so heartbreaking. My heart sank when I first heard it. I’ve listened to the EP on repeat for the past week and I love that “Dramatic” is played right after “Life of Mine.” It almost represents the cyclical nature of making mistakes and the shame that comes with it but is the reality of life.
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