One part effervescent dance pop and one part electronic folk, DJ Pamela Valfer’s Kitty Craft is almost indefinable. Comparable from everyone from Air to Beck, Catskills takes delight in hoping through all the sub-categories of electronic with a playful artistry while never quite settling on one. You may not quite know what it is, but you’ll like it all the same.
From the bubbly “Comeback Queen” to the mellow “At the Charity Stripe”, Kitty Craft combines airy vocals with lighthearted drum loops and synthesizers while Valfer’s DJ skills are never too far from view. Unlike most over-produced electronica, Catskills has an honest do-it-yourself feel to it, giving it warmth and intimacy. Not focused on creating some large sonic atmosphere, the charm of Kitty Craft is that it feels like music that could be made by your cool best friend.
Despite the shimmery sense of fun that Valfer brings to each of these songs, there remains an obvious dedication to the craft of music, giving these carefree songs a greater depth and diversity. Ranging from the loopy “How Long Can This Go On?” to the slow grooves of “Silver Lining”, every moment on Catskills is punctuated perfectly, and the songs remain fresh, even after repeat playings.
Valfer’s lyrics do contain simple, unpretentious perceptiveness when you can understand what she’s singing. While the indecipherable nature of her lyrics would otherwise be annoying, part of the joy is just hearing Valfer’s voice float over her music. Her meaning is clear even if all the words are not. Still, what can be heard has value, like on “Push Me Down” when she sings “you know you can’t push me down all the way”. Her independence and thoughtfulness shine through.
Kitty Craft’s Catskills is one of those recordings that will thrive on word of mouth, passed between knowledgeable, music-loving friends. On “San Fran”, Valfer sings “It’s not so bad to be adored”. It’s good that she feels that way, because Kitty Craft is incredibly easy to adore.
// Notes from the Road
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