We’re glad to announce that South Wales, United Kingdom-based Dark Alternative musician Catherine Elms has released a new single, entitled “Frustrations.”
A self-taught non-classical pianist, Catherine’s raw and evocative playing style lies directly between the brash power of The Dresden Dolls and the baroque pop-rock of 1990s Tori Amos. Her music possesses a dark intensity with softly defined edges: both introspective and fierce.
After years of building a loyal fanbase through her bedroom demos and lockdown livestreams, Catherine has captivated audiences with her genre-bending blend of baroque pop and hard rock, as well as with her confessional lyrics that explore millennial frustrations with sensitivity and quiet hope. Catherine is a fast-rising independent artist in the South Wales music scene, driven ever-forward by her passion and a devoted fanbase.
“Frustrations” is Catherine’s first studio-recorded track, recorded at The Nest Studios with dark orchestral band Birdeatsbaby and drums by Brian Viglione of The Dresden Dolls. Fusing hard rock, dark cabaret, and emotionally-charged melodies and impassioned lyrics, the track represents how Catherine has come full circle, having discovered The Dresden Dolls at age 16 and determining to strike out on a journey of self-expression and performance from that moment.
In “Frustrations,” Catherine sees a world of injustice and inequality, and vents against those with the power to make change who refuse to do so. She calls for us to resist the urge to give up or turn our anger inwards, and instead work together to build a better world. We keep fighting but nothing changes until those in power join us in the fight. This song is a call to arms–come join us: together, we could be a revelation.
“Frustrations”, like its writer, is both introspective and fierce, challenging the listener to take action against injustices witnessed each day. Catherine writes from her experiences as a queer working-class woman, for whom these issues are deeply urgent. She explains:
“‘Frustrations explores the feeling of wanting to stand up for what’s right – be it through activism, work, or just in the interactions and little kindnesses in our daily lives – and facing constant opposition. When it all feels impossible or overwhelming, you can get jaded and burned out, but you must dig deep and remind yourself why this matters, and stay connected to your purpose and strive for meaningful change. This song is for those of us who are tired of fighting injustice in a world that wasn’t built for us – but we get up and keep fighting anyway. For those of us who long for something more – for ourselves, for the world, for each other.’”
Further detailing the inspiration and creative process behind “Frustrations,” Catherine says, “I wrote Frustrations after a series of instances where I was told that I was being difficult, or idealistic, or naïve for trying to change things for the better – I kept hearing empty platitudes from self-proclaimed allies like “it is what it is” as a way of avoiding playing their part in making things better, or worse, actively harmful comments. There were hundreds of interactions like that throughout my years of work and activism, and I remember getting home after work one day, where one such incident took place, and sitting at my piano bashing out a bunch of angry chords until the opening riff of Frustrations formed.”
For first-time listeners, Catherine adds, “My songs are dark, fierce, introspective – written from my experiences as a queer woman, a feminist, a person with mental illness, and an introverted indie musician. I write about fighting to improve a world that wasn’t built for us, losing (and re-finding) yourself in toxic love, being a messy weirdo in an industry that values glamour and perfection, the simultaneous terror and allure of the male gaze, and burning your rage for fuel to become something more.”
“Frustrations” is also accompanied by a frantic and compelling conceptual music video that blends Catherine’s energetic performance with the striking visuals of Scott Chalmers (videographer for Jamie Lenman, Birdeatsbaby, Saint Agnes):
“Frustrations” unleashes a riot of emotion from the beginning, immediately drawing the listener in with a catchy piano melody that is underscored by powerful distorted electric guitar chords and driven by energetic percussion rhythms. Catherine Elms’ captivating vocal melodies soon join in, nicely harmonizing with the piano and bass notes as they take the listener through the track’s dynamic verses and choruses. The compelling lyrical passages are sung with an empowering and suspenseful quality that perfectly accompanies the urgent tone of the instruments, later including strings toward the end of the track, as well as the song’s call to action for a better world.
“Frustrations” is quite an enjoyable listen throughout and an impressive studio debut, highlighting Catherine Elms’ brilliant songwriting and superb musicianship. I would highly recommend this track to fans of alternative- and indie rock alike.
Don’t forget to support this project and to follow on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, SoundCloud, YouTube, and Spotify. You can also check out her official website. If you enjoy his music and are able to provide monetary support, you might consider downloading it on Bandcamp.
You can obviously find it in the following Playlists: Less Than 1,000 Followers, Fresh Singles, Indie Only, Alterindie State Of Mind, Female Rising Stars, Sickest & Dopest, and Debut Bands (Off The Radar).
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This coverage was created via MusoSoup #Sustainablecurator