Ten years ago on 11th February 2013, Wolf Alice released an ode to Ellie Rowsell’s cat “Fluffy “ who had just been neutered, the poor little chap. It was released via Chess Club Records as their debut single and the rest is history.
In 2023 hotly tipped emerging artist Gretel Hanlyn has released a song dedicated to her cat – “Wiggy” to her friends, Wiggins to everybody else. It’s another cracking track to add to her already impressive musical canon, driving guitars and an almost slinky jaunty melody all complement Hanlyn’s distinctive voice.
She explains ‘I’ve always thought it must be so nice to be a cat, to get massages and compliments and have a nice tail, nothing to do. So that’s pretty much what this song is about. I was inspired a lot by the smashing pumpkins / pixies and their punchy, kinda lazy, not-over thought bangers and knew I wanted to capture that sloppy charisma in this song before I even started writing it about my cat. I wasn’t very far into writing (I’d literally just laid down the baritone guitar/bass line and was getting into the drum sounds) when my mum sent me a photo of Wiggy lying on a bed being adorable and it just fit perfectly to the laid back nature of the song that was forming so I went with it.”
I’ve seen some mention Hanlyn being part of some sort of “indie sleaze” revival. This is impossible given that it didn’t exist in the first place no matter how often journos and bloggers employ the term. To be honest, this track is far more reminiscent of Throwing Muses or Belly at their most playful rather than any imaginary noughties scenester nonsense, and Hanyln’s output so far doesn’t need clumsily journalistic retrofitted tagging as it clearly stands up on its own terms. One anticipates there’s much more to come in 2023.