Katrina Cain Finds Her Moment in Rescue Me

So often life can feel as though it’s pulling us in a million directions at once. Like a leaf floating atop a winding stream we tend to settle into the current and simply go with the flow. Rarely, do we find ourselves at our original destination. However, as we travel through all of life’s uncertainties, it’s important that we take a moment to reflect upon its precious ripples.

Life has been flowing pretty rapidly for north Texas singer-songwriter Katrina Cain lately. In October, her jazzy electronic-pop band TOMKAT released their highly acclaimed debut album Icarus, followed by a stacked SXSW lineup and an opening spot for Denton neighbor Sarah Jaffe. And just last week, Cain took possibly the biggest step in her life by saying “I do” with TOMKAT soulmate Andrew McMillan.

Now, standing at the doorsteps of her thirties, Denton’s Persephone of Pop reflects back upon her life with her solo EP, Rescue Me.

I keep thinking life will slow down, that I have plenty of time to do everything I want,” states Cain. “But it doesn’t slow down, it doesn’t stop, and it keeps moving whether you move or not. Now I’m 29, I just got married and everything happened so fast. I looked back and suddenly the wedding was over and so are my 20’s. My 30’s are ahead and I still haven’t accomplished much of what I set out to do. But what I have accomplished I’m proud of and the biggest accomplishment is finding Andrew and living a life with him filled with music, love and adventures.”

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No need to worry TOMKAT fans. The band isn’t taking a break. Cain simply found a brief moment to step away and focus on herself. And what a shining moment she has captured in Rescue Me.

Just as in life, the three-track EP pulls in multiple directions between embracing and letting go. Cain is every bit the sultry, southern siren we met in Icarus. Her spellbinding vocals call out across sweeping, starry ballads of courage, passionate sonnets of final farewells and serenading surrenders of the soul. Gentle keystrokes and soft electronics paint a warm and serene indie-pop background behind Cain’s seraphic chants.

There are delicate moments in Rescue Me where we find Cain at her most vulnerable and needing to be rescued. While at others, we bare witness to Cain at her strongest, fully empowered by her own determination. The EP represents the balancing act that has been the singer’s life to this point. Strong at times and weak at others…but nonetheless, all hers…and thankfully she’s confident enough to share it with the world.

Katrina Cain’s life may be a little hectic at the moment. But, I think we all can take a note from Rescue Me. Life’s not going to slow down for any one of us. The least we can do is take a moment to ourselves and reflect upon where we are and how we got here.

Rescue Me is now available to stream and purchase.

Photos by: Mike Ferreira @mikeshootspeople

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Herding Tomkats with Katrina Cain at SXSW

Tomkat is a band we’ve been dying to see more of in Austin. The jazzy, electro-pop outfit from Denton dropped their sensational debut full-length, Icarus, back in October and has remained a bright, flashing star on our radar ever since. With just one previous stop in Austin following their album release, we were pretty excited to see they were returning as official SXSW showcase artists.

Led by petite powerhouse, Katrina Cain, Tomkat made the most of their time in Austin with four separate SXSW performances. They started off by playing their first official showcase to a jam-packed Sidewinder as part of the Discover Denton SXSW Showcase and then followed that up with their first ever stripped-down, acoustic performance at the SFA InterContinental. Tomkat wrapped-up their 2018 SXSW visit with one more acoustic set at Austin Taco Project before joining a massive local lineup for the Future of Music Showcase at the Shiner Saloon. All-in-all, I’d say Austin received a healthy, much-needed dose of Tomkat during SXSW. But, I’ll be damned if it didn’t leave us counting down the days until their next visit.

We were fortunate enough to catch Tomkat’s leading lady, Katrina Cain, prior to the band’s SFA InterContinental performance. Read what she had to say and check out the show highlights below.

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Is this Tomkat’s first SXSW?
We’ve played some unofficial SX shows in the past. But, this is the first year we’ve been accepted ‘officially.’ This is our first big SX experience.

How has your first ‘official’ SXSW experience been so far?
It’s been very good and very crazy. It’s definitely been hectic down here. But, we’ve had a blast and have seen a ton of new music and gotten to meet people from all over the world.

What’s been the best part of SXSW for you?
Playing our official showcase at Sidewinder. Definitely! It hit capacity very quickly and was a completely packed house. I wasn’t expecting that kind of turn out. It was definitely exciting to see people waiting in line for us. That was a very special feeling.

Were you familiar with the other bands on the showcase bill?
It was a Denton-based showcase and we’ve played with a lot of those bands before. It was great getting to see them and all of us being here at SXSW. I hoped to see and play with more bands from Austin and other areas while here in town. But, we’ve been checking out a lot of other music so we’ll see what’s in store for the future.

Tomkat last visited Austin in December. Outside of SXSW, how does playing in Austin compare to playing in Denton?
To be honest, we actually draw more in Austin which is weird. Last time we were in Austin we played at Swan Dive and we drew more there than at our previous Dallas show. I thought that was kind of interesting. But, Denton is home.

So, with that being said, why doesn’t Tomkat visit Austin more often?
Actually, I don’t know. I suppose just getting the shows together can be difficult. It’s difficult to get on bills and difficult to get people to play with sometime. However, people are generally very supportive here. We love playing Austin. But, it’s denfinitely a goal to play once a month here instead of once every three to six months.

I imagine you will come back for SXSW in 2019, is there anything you would like to do differently next year?
We are most definitely going to try to come back for SXSW in 2019. However, next year, I would like to be a little more organized. I’d like to reach out to people prior to our sets and be able to network better. It was pretty hard to do that this year and was so overwhelming trying to figure out who would be here and the people we wanted to reach out to and connect with.

What’s next for Tomkat after SXSW? Can we expect any new music in the near future?
We don’t necessarily have an answer yet. We’ve been writing a lot and have a lot of new music written…it’s just not recorded yet. So, we’re aiming to record a couple things at the end of the year. But, the release date is still to be determined.

Do you see Tomkat’s sound evolving with your new music?
I feel like we have two really distinctive sounds. We have this sort of groovy underlying R&B aspect to some of our songs while others sound more like straight-up electro, robotic-pop. I think with the next project, those two characteristics will come together a little more and hopefully we’ll have a more cohesive sound. Sometimes, people can pick out which songs I’ve written based on how they sound and I’m hoping that won’t happen anymore.

Tomkat at SFA InterContinental

Portrait photos by: Demetrius Judkins @wolfspiritofthesun

Performance photos by: Mark Bowers @markbowersphoto

Swan Dive Vibes With TOMKAT and Dossey

The I-35 connection was fully heated Friday night as Denton-based, electro-pop outfit, TOMKAT, hooked up with Austin’s synth-pop starlet, Dossey, at Swan Dive. No lie, this pop explosion has been circled on our calendar for a while now and it was every bit worth the wait.

Shortly after 10:00pm, immersive synth blasts engulfed the venue as Dossey, the electro-pop alter ego of Sarah Dossey, assumed control of the stage backed by Shy Beast’s Mariclaire Glaeser on keys and a hard-hitting repertoire of analog and digital electronic timbres. The homegrown artist who’s become a mainstay at Swan Dive made her debut in 2015 with Diamond and recently released the first of a two-part series in Electric, which was played in its entirety Friday…including her sweet cover of Peter Gabriel’s ‘In Your Eyes’. Her straight forward dance beats and intricate pop melodies are infectiously catchy with ambient soundscapes and captivating vocals you can’t help but succumb to. Friday was the last Dossey show of the year. But, pay attention to Swan Dive’s calendar and check her website for upcoming shows.

More and more fans began to pack Swan Dive once TOMKAT took over the venue. Led by vocal enchantress, Katrina Cain, the band trekked 3 hours south to show off their highly acclaimed debut LP, Icarus. Born from rock, jazz, classical, metal, and R&B musicians, TOMKAT consists of Cain (vocals), Andrew McMillan (guitar), Mike Luzecky (bass), Jonny Harmon (drums), and Trenton Hull (synths).

A petite powerhouse, Cain packs a huge punch on stage, especially when layering seductive vocals over the sensual groove of ‘Teardrops‘…a single Huffington Post considers “one of the best songs of the year.” But it’s through ‘Persephone‘ that the tempting siren pulls the crowd deeper into Icarus. The band’s unique electronic groove blends everything from dreamy pop and classy jazz to shimmering rock and rich RnB while covering a realm of lyrical topics stretching from ancient myths to current heartbreaks. Diversely fit for just about any setting, Icarus can soothe a soul, jump-start a jazz bar or heat-up a bedroom…and as witnessed on Friday, damn-sure turnout Swan Dive.

For everyone in Austin hoping to catch TOMKAT again, have no fear. The band was recently accepted to play SXSW 2018. So, be on the lookout. In the meantime, enjoy these fantastic images from Friday’s show captured by Matthew Carlin.

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TOMKAT – ‘Drowning’ (Official Video)

http://tomkatband.com/

Photos by: Matthew Carlin @yo_mtv_matt

The Enchanting Sound of TOMKAT’s Icarus

Entitled Icarus, TOMKAT have truly epitomized both the sound and spirit of their latest album in a single word. By relaying the messages of the great Greek myth through their ability to go against the genre grain, TOMKAT are flying high, yet the album is far from a tragedy. With the band’s supernatural synthetics and entrancing vocals, this is the perfect spooky soundtrack for this Halloween.

Describing their sound as somewhere between pop, jazz, rock, and dance, their unique sound consistently keeps you on your toes. With heartbeat drums and electrifying guitars, tracks ‘Pompeii‘ and ‘Human‘ showcase the band’s rockier side. Short but strengthy, both tracks are reduced in length, but ensure they pack a punch and leave a deep impression with both their heavy instrumental talent, as well as weighty lyrics.

Although a thoroughly rock feeling album, TOMKAT keep it quirky and distinctive with idiosyncratic synthesizers. Dropping subtle nods towards modern, electronic dance themes; distorted twangs give tracks like ‘Persephone’ a dark, ‘Stranger Things’ sounding undertone, whilst giving ‘Phoenix’ a remarkably eerie feel.

Despite its spectral sound, ‘Phoenix’ is perhaps one of the most compelling and influential tracks on the album. With the rock theme chilled out, the track’s simplicity is key, allowing the expressive lyrics and impeccable vocals to do the talking. A beautifully triumphant track singing “Once and for all, I rise; Once and for all, I’ll fly.” It’s plentiful in fulfillment.

Likewise to ‘Phoenix’, an attribute all nine tracks share are Katrina Cain’s immersive vocals. Silky yet fearless, her angelic innocence is radiant. Her featherlike voice strokes and softens each and every song, creating a phantom illusion. She is completely transfixing.

With the band’s complex sounds, rhythmic interplay, and their passion to experiment with genres, TOMKAT are already ahead of the game and the perfect future for modern music.

http://tomkatband.com/

 

Written by: Beth Judge