For the first time in six long years, Chan Marshall, the creative force behind Cat Power, has released a new album, appropriately titled Sun. Not only that, but thanks to the good folks at NPR Music, you can now stream the album in its entirety.
For longtime fans of Chan Marshall, whose career has spanned nearly two decades, Sun may come as something of a shock. Past Cat Power albums feature a slew of moody ballads, intimate confessionals, cutting notes, arty blues, and ethereal vocals. I myself admit to relegating certain songs to rainy day/curl up in a blanket playlists, and saving the entire album You Are Free for when I’m feeling particularly existential or need a really, really good cry (“Good Woman”, anyone?). As they so aptly quip on NPR, “She could sing random figures from her tax returns and convey more heartache and angst than many other artists could match in their deepest moments.”
With Sun, however, Marshall leaves behind her long established sound in favor of pulsing synths, heavily layered vocals, and driving beats. Yet despite the dramatic shift, die hard Cat Power fans will recognize that our long beloved artist manages to stay true to herself. Crafted and produced entirely on her own in her Malibu studio, Marshall has fearlessly created a work of great beauty, and after such a long hiatus, it is a thrilling sonic rebirth. I for one believe this to be one of her best records yet.
The album will be officially released on Sept. 4. Until then enjoy the First Listen.