Here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today, we’ve been listening to the latest single from Fat Cat Affair. I Wonder was released on January 24th, 2023.
Fat Cat Affair tells the story of the inspiration behind the song. The loss of a dear bandmate to suicide. After a headline gig, Olivia left immediately. Usually staying behind to drink and mix with the audience, she’d just left. The band say they didn’t think anything of it at the time, but it was the last time they saw her alive. Olivia had been found dead in her bathtub. The police suspected drink and pills, but the band suspected she died of a broken heart having an unrequited love for a fellow bandmate. You can read more about the story here; https://www.fatcataffair.com/collections/music
The vocals were recorded in Japan by American vocalist, Costie Payne. The main track was recorded in Riga and features an appearance from younger members of the Riga Cathedral Choir School. Fat Cat invited other musicians on board to help arrange and polish the track, adding new sections and drums.
I Wonder starts with a super-funky bluesy guitar riff with the bass following the same melody. The two instruments blend together perfectly.
When the vocals come in, there are choir-like harmonies with some superb stereo in them. Later in the track, Fat Cat Affair make great use of panning and using vocal licks as incidental fills between the lead lines. This is a quality authentic R&B track. The lead vocals, in the beginning, reminded us of the laid-back dulcet tones of Jack Johnson, and you can’t help but draw comparisons to Stevie Wonder in the overall feel of the track.
We love the bright percussion and the piano and Hammond fills that serve to fill out the sound and give the listener something new to listen to at every moment throughout the track.
We found ourselves full-body-nodding (!) to this track and being swept away by the positive feel of the song which juxtaposed with the mournful lyrics and subject matter.
Ideas from our ears
A hi-pass filter at 35Hz would remove the unnecessary low-end rumble. A cut in the lead vocal around 240-250Hz would reduce an occasional ‘muddy’ peak too. As always, these are just some ideas from our ears.
Fat Cat Affair’s, I Wonder, is a heartfelt R&B song and a fitting memorial to a lost friend. The instrumentation is exciting and funky and the lyrics are well-considered, compassionate and emotional. A great track. Thoroughly recommended.