As the disastrous Fyre Festival and the long-awaited Gorillaz album hogged headlines all weekend, an artist went overlooked: Cashmere Cat.
The Grammy-nominated producer released his debut album “9” on Friday, April 28, and oh me, oh Mirror Maru, he did not disappoint. Cashmere Cat has been busy transforming pop music with his alternative R&B and experimental electronic productions; however, his solo work was not forgotten and he brought a star-studded featured cast along with him. Cashmere Cat's debut record includes collaborations with The Weeknd, Selena Gomez and Jhené Aiko, among other top 40 artists, but ultimately, he runs the show.
From the introductory track “Night Night” featuring Khelani through the other nine tracks, “9” was an artistic masterpiece much like the Norwegian producer's previous releases. He takes the formalities we so frequently hear in pop music and he molds them into a new, unprecedented re-imagination of the relatively stagnant genre. Cashmere Cat goes against the grain and he does not bind a single release to one genre; as an artist, he simply blends a variety of styles to create what we all love — quality music.
Listen to “9 (After Coachella)” featuring MØ and SOPHIE as an example. It's truly all over the music map, tropical trap that builds up in industrious fashion (does that make sense?), yet the production proves to be a beauty of a title track.
Continue to “Wild Love” featuring The Weeknd and Francis and the Lights, a collaboration he teased late last summer. The track opens with vocoded vocals over an ambiance that surely sends goosebumps popping up across your body. Add soulful vocals by The Weeknd to harmonize with the Francis and the Lights vocoder and… wow. Just wow.
It's difficult to describe what Cashmere Cat did with “9” because nobody else has done this style before. Though tracks like “Wild Love,” among other ambient numbers, gave his debut record moments that were reminiscent of Bon Iver's latest album “22, A Million,” Cashmere Cat's release was simply different. And “9” falls under a word I've been taught never to use as a journalist:
It's unique. Just listen to “Quit” with Ariana Grande or “Victoria's Veil” or whichever track your heart so desires for another example. Continue to “Infinite Stripes” featuring Ty Dolla $ign or the collaboration with Selena Gomez and Tory Lanez, “Trust Nobody” — these tracks all find a way to stand out. And yet, after every single one of these numbers, among the others that have not been mentioned, “9” culminates to be that aforementioned artistic, and an especially unprecedented masterpiece.
Cashmere Cat has been changing the game with his pop productions, but his debut album has reached a new level. Listen to “9” below or through your preferred streaming service.
Cover Photo: Cashmere Cat