If ever there was an artist able to convince the most doubting amongst us that folk music can be made modern, daring, engaging and, quite frankly, a little weird, it might just be Catherine Rudie. In this compelling performance of her recent album’s title track ‘Möbius Kiss’, Rudie and her band ‘The Kisses’ create a sound that is irrefutably unique and utterly captivating.
Despite the relatively simple set-up and fairly sparse instrumentation, the overall effect is one of very careful composition and a certain complexity. Rudie’s distinctive vocals take centre stage throughout the performance with a great emphasis being placed on her adept lyricism. Flitting between high art references, the language of romance, surreal imagery and ending on the names of various lipsticks, the song twists and turns in both melody, theme and texture – not unlike the möbius form from which it takes its name. The addition of electronic drones, multi-tracking vocals and the overarching trippy feel of the track makes it an experimental breath of fresh air for the folk world.
In devising such an original, imaginative sound you’d be forgiven for forgetting that Möbius Kiss is Catherine Rudie’s first album, released in November 2019 and met with great praise from the likes of BBC 6 Music’s Tom Robinson and BBC Radio 3’s Nick Luscombe. If this is the first offering from Rudie, then it would suggest that great things are still to come. Kicking off 2020 by releasing her single ‘London is Changing’, a track also featured on the album, this year looks set to be an exciting one for Catherine.