Cat Thomson

Cat Thomson

 Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN

Cat Thomson is a classic triple threat. Equally at home behind both the piano and the mic, she has the range, power and depth that you’d expect from an opera trained vocalist. But Thomson is also a songwriter of remarkable sensitivity, with a natural feel for the plush contours and emotional edges of sophisticated adult pop music.


It seems impossible that an artist can arrive as fully formed as Cat Thomson, and yet here she is. When the singer-songwriter arrived in Vancouver, she had little more than a few low key solo gigs behind her. But the darkly powerful voice, dramatic range and refined musical sensibilities were already there, marinated in life experience rather than the usual back story of teenage bands, criss-crossing van tours, or music industry near-misses.


All the same, debut EP Puzzle is the result of Thomson’s efforts to close in on a dream she’s had for her entire life. “I’ve had a lot of experiences and taken a lot of roads, but I always knew that music was the only option,” she says. “There was no plan B.”


There was, however, five years of schooling at Louisiana State University, where Thomson majored in opera and vocal performance (on a scholarship, no less)—long before she ever stepped into a recording studio. The preternatural songwriting chops come from somewhere more mysterious, however. On Puzzle, Thomson demonstrates an intuitive feel for the alchemy of sophisticated adult pop. The voice soars without spilling over into histrionics. And her grasp of metre, phrasing, and arrangement is there in the expertly paced title track.


 “I think my songwriting has gotten better, just from vibing off other people.” True or not, she clearly found the perfect ally when 604 Records—having discovered Thomson after label head Jonathan Simkin followed her Twitter to a humble YouTube page—put the singer-songwriter in a room with producer Kevvy.


“Kevvy says it feels like his baby, too,” she says of the completed record. “There is a classical aspect to my music and I wanted to make sure that the genres I was influenced by were all on there. For both of us it was a learning experience.” Kevvy’s contribution is actually a revelation. From the elegantly bare “Down” to something as strong and fabulous as “She’ll Never Be Me”, Cat’s producer musters an always tasteful sonic palette, abetted by finesse players like Carly Rae Jepsen's band member Tavish Crowe, session guitar whiz Mike Schlosser, and, of course, Thomson herself caressing the ivories.


In all cases, Thomson’s classy mien brings the best out of everyone—mostly herself. The result is an album as deep and rich as the voice behind it; a plush work of adult contemporary pop that could sit somewhere between Fiona Apple, Florence and the Machine, and Mariah Carey without being diminished by any of them.


Thomson is set to release her new single, “Lies”, November 18th. The track showcases Thomson’s remarkable versatility, departing from the prominent styles found on Puzzle and exploring the dance genre. Utilizing the powerhouse vocals that can stand up to the divas of dance that came before her, Thomson and producers Tavish Crowe and Nygel Asselin draw on 90s influences to create a dynamic pop track that captivates with its layers of sound and modern twist.


Puzzle EP 2014