Cat Clyde- Down Rounder

by | Feb 17, 2023 | Reviews | 1 comment

Cat Clyde Down Rounder 


In her latest full-length release, Down Rounder, Canadian indie-folk artist Cat Clyde delivers a beautiful collection of songs guided by cycles of growth and renewal. A soulful respite from the hustle and bustle of life’s demands, this dynamic record offers plenty of meditations on what it means to embrace an existence that pauses to trace the outline of a bird’s shadow mid-flight rather than worrying about getting ahead in the rat race. Firmly rooted in matters of the natural and spiritual world, Clyde returns to themes common throughout her past discography—2017’s Ivory Castanets and 2019’s Hunters Trance—with pronounced intention and plenty of room for swaying softly. “Connecting with the natural environment around me inspired a lot of these songs, and sonically I feel like this record is very grounded as a result,” Clyde says while talking about the album’s thematic bend. “I wanted these songs to sound raw and rough, but also placed-together in a way that created—a simple beauty, like the changing seasons or a setting sun.”


The LP opens with “Everywhere I Go,” a song that sets a solid foundation for launching Down Rounder as a record that celebrates change. As she considers the many ways in which renewal occurs, Clyde gets expansive by making references to various cycles such as “tides that roll” and how “fire licks the wood to ash.” The lively chorus of “There goes my skin/Shedding again/I keep walking on a path that never ends” is layered against a lively array of instruments including tambourine and violin, steeping the song deep in an abundance that is representative of Clyde’s essence.


Cat Clyde

Cat Clyde (photo by Strummer Jasson)


Featuring ten songs in just over half an hour, this is certainly an album meant to be savored rather than sped through. From the glistening sounds of creek life in “The Gloom” to the softly strummed guitar licks accentuating “Hawk in the Tree,” there is a deeply vast soundscape supporting every song. The record’s pacing is well-balanced and by combining rich instrumentation with stellar lyrical composition throughout, Down Rounder lends itself to be an exquisite body of work. 


The most upbeat song on the record, “Papa Took My Totems,” addresses the destructive nature of the patriarchy with a  danceable melody (the track was released as a single at the end of January, which we previously covered here). According to Clyde, “Papa Took My Totems” explores the “ravaging effects of colonialism, the state of the environment, and masculine-dominated society at large,” and was inspired by in part by her Indigenous Métis heritage. “There’s a lot of sacredness that’s being destroyed in the world, and that’s difficult to deal with sometimes. Totems, to me, feel like places and things that are important and real, to witness the destruction of things like that is devastating.” The video for the song shows Clyde performing alone in an empty theater with clips of her sitting in various seats looking into the camera interspersed throughout, proudly reclaiming her own power as a woman and person of Métis descent.



Releasing “Mystic Light” and “I Feel It” as the other singles helps show how varied yet cohesive this album truly is. While “Mystic Light” is bright, rich, and airy, “I Feel It” is stripped down, with Clyde singing against a backdrop of piano and cello with the sound of rain sprinkled throughout. Both songs examine the topic of release in relation to illumination, with the sun shining brightly in the former track and setting in the latter single. 


The illustrious imagery, brilliant instrumentation, and robust vocal delivery of Down Rounder is able to glisten thanks to the production work of Tony Berg, who has collaborated with some of the biggest names in music including Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift, and Phoebe Bridgers. Recorded in Los Angeles’ Sound City Studios, Clyde laid down the entirety of the record in six just days, yet the album sounds far from rushed. The February 17th release date is fitting as well for the album’s ethos as the beginning of Spring is just around the corner in the Northern Hemisphere and many are about ready to transition out of Winter.


Down Rounder is a wonderfully lush album that rejoices in all the beauty that life can bring. We are so glad that Cat Clyde is continuing to sow her musical seeds in 2023 and just as the sun gives life, we can only expect things to grow bigger and brighter for Clyde in the coming days. 


Find Cat Clyde on:

Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube

Down Rounder is out now on all streaming platforms via Second Prize Records.




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