Peter Cat Recording Company release debut album ‘Bismillah’ to critical praise5 July 2019
Peter Cat Recording Company have released ‘Bismillah’ to wide-spread praise, teaming up with French independent label Panache Records to release the New Delhi crooners’ debut album.
With a name partially referencing Haruki Murakami’s jazz club in Tokyo, Peter Cat Recording Co. trade in a kaleidoscopic blend of gypsy jazz, psychedelic cabaret, space disco, bossa supernova, Bollywood and uneasy listening. It’s an unlikely balance making the New Delhi five piece every inch the sonic anomaly in their hometown as how they read on paper. The band beguiled and frustrated in equal measure in 2018, with the release of ‘Portrait Of A Time 2010-2016’, an anthology which gathered together re-mastered versions of various gems from the band’s ramshackle back catalogue, previously recorded in frontman Suryakant Sawhney’s front room. Whilst the title track found its way onto Tracks Of The Year lists at the Guardian & NME, it was tricky to get a firm grip on the five piece who – despite hailing from the Hindi-speaking capital of India – emerged sounding like a twenty first century big band reboot.
Debut album Bismillah is a stumbling, yet gracious, collection of songs rooted in a kind of drunken soul music, the music pulled around in a melancholic fluidity before assembling itself into dance-like shapes. Leading the dance is Suryakant’s impressive range, meandering on a Pied Piper-esque mission from the swooping falsetto glide of ‘I’m this’ to the beat-up baritone blown along by the warm breeze of ‘Soulless Friends’.
Peter Cat trailed the album with the release of ‘Floated By’, a meditation on failure and missed opportunity carried by a punctuating brass section which pierces through much of the album. The track was quickly followed up with a beautifully shot montage-to-music – implausibly, of Suryakant’s own wedding – to act as a humorous offset visual against the song’s true intent.
Second single ‘Where The Money Flows’ calls into question our human desire to measure our worth, the video incorporating snippets from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 2016 speech on the demonetisation of 1000 and 500 rupee notes around Suryakant’s aimless wander through hill-fields of fake cash. You can watch the video below:
After well-received introduction to the UK earlier this month – making their debut appearance at Nile Rodger’s Meltdown Festival at The Southbank Centre – Peter Cat Recording Co. will be returning to the UK in late 2019 for their first run of headline shows. Meanwhile, PCRC are finishing up their time in Europe with a handful of shows on the continent, listed below.
18 Aug GRONIGEN, NETHERLANDS Noorderzon
24 Aug PARIS, FRANCE Rock En Seine
31 Aug MAASTRICH, NETHERLANDS Bruis Festival
1 Sept ISLAND OF VLIEAND, NETHERLANDS Into The Great Wide Open
“New Delhi’s answer to Grizzly Bear” – Uncut
“Whilst the sumptuous grooves that underpin are captivating, it’s also the fluid thematic content of ‘Bismillah’ that makes for repeated listens” – **** NME
“It’s smoother than a pint of butter while injected with a good sense of groove and fun” – 8/10, Albums of the Month – Clash
“Enter a floating world of the surreal, of gentle uneasy listening, warped strings and distorted brass” –MOJO
“A vibrant, eclectic joy” – **** The Skinny
“Mingle classic Rat Pack singing, pacing, brass and attitude with sounds and lyrics that place that somewhere slightly edgier” – The Arts Desk