Cat's Eyes are a duo, formed by Rachel Zeffira, a renowned Canadian opera soprano and classical multi-instrumentalist, and Faris Badwan, the statuesque singer from noisy British psychedelic-rockers The Horrors.
Their debut album, called simply ‘Cat’s Eyes’, which was released April 2011, is a romantic pop masterpiece fit to dine at the same table as mid-’60s productions by Phil Spector, Joe Meek or Shadow Morton, but with a fiercely modern, experimental premise, which constantly leaves you wondering just what you’re listening to, and how on earth it was created.
“I was always interested in having a project that makes heavy use of electronics, but still sounds warm and human,” Faris says. To that end, he’s been hording synthesizers, echo units, tape manipulation devices, effects pedals and all manner of sound equipment with a view to generating his own electronic sound. So, while Rachel plays “everything from harmonium to Indian tambura”, Faris brings his own weird atmospheres, often twisting the vocals and instruments beyond all recognition.
Thanks to their top-to-bottom involvement in everything on it, both Rachel and Faris feel deeply possessive and proud of ‘Cat’s Eyes’. Faris summarizes: “We think that people can connect with the songs regardless of the kind of musical background they have. The themes are timeless and ones that most people have experienced. We wanted to present a world for people to make their own connections. We’re ambitious for the project. We think we’ve made something that’s really accessible, but not as a result of being cheapened. We want as many people to hear it as possible.”