With the funk-infused ‘Era Of A Niche Hero’ setting the scene in December, all eyes are on Fat! Records’ latest signing – a London-based producer and multi-instrumentalist by the name of Happy Cat Jay whose forthcoming ‘Moods EP’ looks set to further cement the label’s proven track record in spotting the next big thing.
Arriving on February 28th 2020, the genre-blending EP features 5 original tracks alongside a remix by bass-aficionado DE$iGNATED, and was preceded by the EP’s second single ‘Up Early’ on January 24th.
Opening the EP, Up Early leads with an extended, dreamy first half that creatively builds into an exquisitely layered ensemble of vocals, synths, crisp percussion and a deep bassline that underpins it all perfectly. Following with Liberty Bled, the trap and hip hop influenced drums lead the way with Jay’s ethereal vocals once again taking centre stage to create a groovy yet truly otherworld vibe.
The tempo is taken down a notch on Love And Push and Dirty Mouth ¬– two tracks which are expert showcases for the restrained yet intricate and concise song-writing elements of the Happy Cat Jay project. Halfway between melancholy and understated, Jay’s vocals are the standout features of both tracks, beautifully arranged alongside clean drum work, delicate synths and an essential guitar licks or two.
“The EP is full of joy, pain, celebrating the world, being pissed off with elements of humanity, some cheesy monologue samples about grief, and some super deep lyrics. Whilst writing a lot of it I was reflecting on my late Dad’s death which gave rise to a bitter hate for the people in his life who’d let him down. ‘Dirty Mouth’ is sort of a ‘f**k you’ to some people and feeling justified in being angry – which I think is quite important these days. I can’t wait to play all these tunes live to be honest – most of the fun I had making this record was pushing my singing/lyrics and recording lots of live drums.” – Happy Cat Jay
To complement the melodic, feel-good vibe of the EP’s first single, Era Of A Niche Hero, the release sees DE$iGNATED strip things right back and deliver a dark, atmospheric dubstep-inspired remix to close the EP; making the original vocals the star of the show, DE$iGNATED infuses them across heavyweight bass, sparse percussion and layered effects for a completely different result that is going to test the capabilities of any system.
We asked Happy Cat Jay to tell us a little about our premiere for today, “Liberty Bled”
“Liberty Bled came together because I was trying to create something quite heavy and old school sounding. The words are taken from a monologue written about the death of JFK and how the younger generation felt cheated out of their progressive future. I think a lot of the younger generation feel that way at the moment and I hopefully captured that somehow. Thanks for featuring it and hope people love it :)” – Happy Cat Jay
With the EP’s release to be marked by his debut live show in February 2020, Happy Cat Jay has been biding his time to make sure that his sound is one which fully encompasses his abilities as a musician, producer and songwriter. Crossing genres with a mixture of electronic, funk, hip-hop and pop influences, expect plenty of surprises to come from Happy Cat Jay over the coming months.
Happy Cat Jay – Up Early is out now
Happy Cat Jay – Moods EP is out 28th February via Fat! Records