Of kitties and cults

Join Curse of Cassandra at Bob’s

By Gary Spencer

Photo: Curse of Cassandra conjures ‘witch-dance grave wave’ at Blind Bob’s June 25; photo courtesy of Curse of Cassandra

Cats and cat-lovers are everywhere these days. Most people’s Facebook newsfeeds are flooded with photos of cute kitties, and furry fandom continues to be a growing subculture—obsessions that some people may deem to be cult-like (but in a playful, non-Jim Jones sorta way). Ohio-based electronic music duo Curse of Cassandra has decided to parlay their own love of felines and the furry community into an overarching theme for their current tour and second full-length album, aptly entitled Cult of Cats.

“Our obsession with cats stems from the fact that they are our magical animal familiars, much like in the history of witches or how Egyptian society worshipped cats as goddesses and gods,” explains Curse of Cassandra vocalist Nicole Richter. “We titled the album Cult of Cats because it’s a paradox: cats are fiercely independent by nature and would be most immune to forming a cult. They can’t be trained or controlled. And that inspires us!”

Curse of Cassandra was founded by Nicole and her multi-instrumentalist husband Jacob Richter just two years ago in Dayton with the goal of making “witch dance, grave wave” electronic music geared for performing live on stage.

“[I] had the idea to create a live band that emulated what electronic digital artists were experimenting with, yet more live performance aspects both visual and instrumental,” Nicole explains. “[Jacob] began writing lyrical, haunting melodies against electronic-driven dance beats, and [we] crafted words to evoke a world of ghost-like sphynx cats, obsessive love and a new utopia of open sexual expression.”

The songs found on CoC’s Cult of Cats does indeed conjure up such vivid imagery, both lyrically and musically. Musically speaking, CoC’s music has a lot in common with their musical inspirations such as Goldfrapp, Purity Ring, and Bjork—airy atmospherics, machine-like rhythm lines, spookily subtle melodies and breathy vocals invoke an auditory world of sensuality and sexuality in overdrive. With this cinematic musical foundation in place, song for song Cult of Cats alternates between tunes geared toward making moves on the dance floor and tunes for making moves in the bedroom. According to Nicole, such witchy nuances of “pretty gloom” were the goal when it came to writing the new record.

Cult of Cats is our second album to arise from a dark fairytale of desire,” she explains. “We were up most nights in the studio burning midnight smoke until the witching hour, and the world of sound we created came together like a moonlit cauldron, each of its melodic floor-booming tracks unique and taking on a different style. We experimented a lot with diverse rhythms and drum patterns on the album and we used a Moog Sub Phatty to capture more live performance and analog sound, creating depth and atmosphere on the album.”

With a new album in tow, Curse of Cassandra is in the middle of a regional tour throughout the month of June in support of their new album and to grow their legion of dance floor kitty worshippers, including a headlining gig at this year’s Pandoracon, Cincinnati’s premiere Sci-Fi & Fantasy convention. Following that, the duo is going for broke by making their next tour a full fledged trek across the country and beyond; a year-long journey of performing live and spreading their musical paw prints across the globe.

“We are embarking on a year-long voyage for our Cult of Cats tour in our RV,” Nicole says. “The tour will hit most of the continental U.S. We plan to do the band full time for a year, go all-in and see where it takes. We have gotten rid of almost everything we own, and we are going vagabond and live the artists’ life. This is our first tour of this length and size. There will also be tour dates in Europe, and we plan to play in Prague, Berlin and a few other cities across the sea. This will be our first time playing abroad, and we cannot wait to perform for our online fans in these cities, and to see all of the curious cats out there. It is a definite risk but we can’t wait to experience it.”

As for Curse of Cassandra’s show in Dayton this Saturday, the duo is planning to give proceeds from the door to a worthy, cat-loving cause. Fans of kitties, spooky electronic dance music and cosplay are encouraged to attend.

“As part of our Cult of Cats tour, we are raising money for kitties,” Nicole says. “A portion of our door will be going to Tenth Life, Dayton’s no-kill cat shelter who helps care for cats. And we make cat ears for our fans so that everyone can join the
Cult of Cats!”

Curse of Cassandra brings the Cult of Cats tour to Dayton Saturday, June 25 at Blind Bob’s, 430 East Fifth Street in downtown Dayton. Electro Cult Circus, Goodnight Goodnight and Praey are also on the bill. Admission is $5 for patrons 21 and over. Doors open at 9 p.m. For more information, please visit blindbobs.com.

Gary Spencer is a graduate of Miami University and works in the performing arts, and believes that music is the best. Contact him at GarySpencer@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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Gary Spencer is a graduate of Miami University and works in the performing arts, and believes that music is the best. Contact him at GarySpencer@DaytonCityPaper.com

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