Catherine Rudie – The Möbius Kiss

Album Review | Madge Wildfire Records | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 4/5

Having endured the dual crisis of the termination of both a long term relationship and the creative space in which the London-based singer songwriter worked, Catherine Rudie responded by channeling her creative juices into the making of The Möbius Kiss, the title being derived from a David Byrne drawing. Losing herself in an almost covert operation, of stealing time at her workplace at the weekend, a space conducive to creativity and an ideal replacement for the one she had lost, the Sutherland-born musician focused on her own situation, with beguiling results, one of them being the sound of the building’s elevator, together with the proclamation ‘going up’ in the introduction. Those results have been further enhanced in this debut album, with more than a little assistance from Stephen Hodd.

Otherworldly in places, Catherine’s breathy, almost spoken passages, evoke a ‘faeries at the bottom of the garden’ feel, a momentary escape from reality. Traditional instruments such as the guitar, piano and percussion get a mention in the credits, but are then dwarfed by the presence of the term ‘sounds’, suggesting that the songs are largely accompanied by ethereal instrumentation or perhaps anything that comes to hand. Despite the almost dreamlike arrangements throughout, the lyrical content verges on the darker side of the human condition with the eerie counting that lurks within the title song, together with the almost isolated statement ‘electric orange’, then the broken bottles and sharp knives of “Everyday Dangers”, the stinging insects of “Chasing Wasps” with the vaporous peel of a midday bell, to the slightly unnerving fingers of “The Airtraffic Controller”. It’s all rather mystifying and slightly perplexing, but definitely worth further investigation.

Choice Track: “Everyday Dances” (NSV 492)