Cat Power has become one of those artists who, so entrenched in my listening vernacular, I almost forget she exists. Spinning her Covers album in my first year of university until it almost wore thin, trying to understand my tumultuous emotions through her words, ever-fascinated by her sleight of voice pastiching Mick's Satisfaction, turning it into something utterly other. She was a woman full of pain - I saw her play on Valentine's Day in 2005 - she rocked back and forth, asked the crowd for crack, whiskey. Turned her back on the audience, flitted in and out of songs. It was painful.
I can never go past her long version of Willie Deadwilder, I think it's my favourite of all her songs. Co-written by the wonderful, wonderful M. Ward, it's an 18 minute rambling paean to love and honesty.
I've seen inside your heart and soul
It's beautifully jacketed
An open hand and a mind to lend
There's nothing more romantic
Than a distant place behind your smile
Tells my eyes that I am coming home
Please don't bring me down
Please don't let me go
Her new album is released on September 3. It's called Sun. Her hair is short, her songs are happier, gypsy wanderings - still bluesy, deep and raw - but lighter. Free, just like she hoped for in 2003. You can hear the first single, Ruin, here.