Track listing: Venus Smile Rx, Wichita Rx, Orbit Rx, All in Your Head Rx, Orbit Rx (Radio Edit), All in Your Head Rx (Radio Edit)
Alpha Cat's latest release on Aquamarine Records, Venus Smile ....Retrograde, is crystal clear pop that brings to mind the delightful sounds of the late 90s. Spacey, bright, melodic, with harmonies dripped sweetly over the lead vocals.
Alpha Cat is the brainchild of photographer-turned-singer/songwriter Elizabeth McCullough. And in bringing her songs from the living room to the studio, she enlisted the stellar talents of an impressive musical collective. Joining in on Venus Smile ....Retrograde are guitarist Doug Pettibone (Lucinda Williams, John Mayer), bassist Reggie McBride (Stevie Wonder, Parliament Funkadelic, Elton John), drummer Jason Harrison Smith, Manuel Quintana on percussion, Jane Scarpantoni (REM, Yeah Yeah Yeahs) on cello, and Murphy Bug on backing vocals, guitar and bass.
The album lyrically explores the challenges brought on by heartbreak, along with the strength we must build to move forward in its wake. Elizabeth also dives into the divide felt worldwide these days—the polarizing topics that have been at the forefront of our minds in recent years. "Orbit Rx" offers hope, however, that perhaps there is a pendulum swinging in the direction of reconnection and redemption.
Though dealing with heady topics, Venus Smile ....Retrograde creates a positive, though intense vibe. McCullough's voice is dreamy and passionate, at times with touches of the rich tone of Chrissie Hynde. Her songs give off an old school alternative feel and would sit nicely in playlists alongside the likes of REM, The Cranberries, and The Cure. She cites Buffy the Vampire Slayer as an influence and if you close your eyes you can imagine Venus Smile ....Retrograde as a backdrop to Buffy's adventures in Sunnydale.