The Multiple Cat – The Golden Apple Hits

The Multiple Cat
The Golden Apple Hits

The Golden Apple Hits is not so much a cohesive full-length album as more of a compilation of songs recorded by the oddly named The Multiple Cat over the last few years and in various places. Those years are 1997 and beyond, although listening to this album, you might swear we’re talking 1977 and beyond.

The Multiple Cat are, basically, a pop band, one that’s heavily influenced by the late 60’s and 70’s pop music but also the decades that follow. This means these songs are a hodge-podge of sounds that somehow works almost surprisingly well. Tight yet playful pop structures are woven around a combination of piano, light guitar, poppy rhythms, and slightly obscure songwriting for works that feel like pop on one level and art on another.

You are bound to fall in love with The Golden Apple Hits from the first bouncy piano notes of “Julliet,” an Elvis Costello meets Velvet Underground pop song that is pure pop, including some great backing vocals. By contrast, the slightly more moody and somber “Love Leave” almost reminds me of Billy Joel, meant in a good way of course. To keep things interesting, we have an atmospheric, almost Nick Drake-ish song entitled “My Country” that flirts with high-pitched vocals and the sound of wind over nice guitar.

Things were progressing nicely, and then “The Dipstick Tryptych Pt. 1” throws in more bouncy, almost Beatles-esque bouncy pop, with piano and horns for good measure, and “Canvassed and Spent” manages to sound like a band firmly entrenched in the Elephant 6 band, ala Neutral Milk Hotel with bits of Of Montreal thrown in, and this is another standout track. There’s a very big, almost classic-rocky feel to “Savior in a Plaid Coat,” yet it wouldn’t sound totally out of place on the last Elf Power album, and “Stitched Up,” which relies more on guitar than piano, is decidedly 60’s-esque, similar to the opening track. Another stellar track, “Nineteen Ten” has delightful, slightly psychedelic keys and this great, relaxing rhythm and flow that makes this song so sweet-sounding. The closer, “My Star,” has hints of Guided By Voices lo-fi pop qualities with a nice, laid-back, slightly Pink Floyd feel.

It’s not too often I fall so completely for a band that has such obviously retro influences, but The Multiple Cat are different. In fact, they’re different from just about anything you’ve likely heard, yet they sound familiar in a way that will comfort you while listening. This is a fine, unique, and ultimately pleasing release made even better by the mixing of styles and timeframes.