If you heard lo-fi art punks Kiosk in the mid-'00s, you’d probably not have picked Catherine Kelleher as a likely purveyor of Australia’s smoothest, sexiest electro-pop album of 2012. Hell, you probably wouldn’t have guessed on the basis of 2008’s Anniversary EP, on which the now-solo Catcall dropped bratty hip-hop jams like ‘Chicky Babe’ and ‘CC’. However, it also contained the numbly relentless groove of ‘August’ (written in the wake of the death of Kelleher’s father) which was to show her the way forward both in terms of sound and in writing.
“I think that it’s the first song that I discovered what writing really, truly, honestly felt like,” Kelleher explains. “Sometimes you can be really conscious of what you’re doing when you’re writing lyrics, and as soon as you try and say something, I think that’s when it stops working.”
While it was a breakthrough track, it just made things more difficult. “I found it hard to regain that. I felt like, ‘Oh, that’s how it’s done!’ but then I lost my way a little bit and writing new songs that just weren’t working and then I had to come back to what worked. And that’s just basically writing really honestly, not trying to give a message.”
That spirit is all over The Warmest Place, not least on last year’s single ‘Swimming Pool’ (voted by indie tastemakers Mess+Noise as their best track of 2011) which is one of the sexiest, sultriest, most unapologetically horny songs you’re likely to hear.
“It was one of those things where I was going through an incredibledrought,” she laughs. “When you’re going through a drought, all you can think of is sex and I was just kind of painting the picture and I didn’t realise until it was finished how sexual it was.”
On a somewhat different note is the jubilant current single ‘The World is Ours’, whose video starts off with Catcall and a team of fun-loving cheerleaders before taking a far darker, slashier turn… “Yeah, it’s awesome!” she laughs. “I love how it combines this really bizarre cheerleader movie with this schlocky horror thing. The ginger-head girl [Clare Evans] is totally like Carrie. She’s so weird and evil! I loved how the director Yvette [Paxinos] brought in all these elements in her storyboard. Immediately I like, I was like, 'This is so awesome, this is so fun.'"
The Warmest Place is out May 4 through Ivy League.