It’s been a while between drinks for Melbourne’s The Cat Empire. Fans have been hanging out for new material since 2010’s Cinema, and this week their prayers were answered with the first taste from their upcoming fifth studio album, set for release in May this year.

“Brighter Than Gold” is the party band’s first new single in over two years. It was recorded in their hometown with producer and friend, Jan Skubiszewski, who first began working with them on their self-titled debut in 2003.

Featuring their signature dance-inducing funk and Latin beats, the new song also has elements of house and electronica, with a salsa-style dance break to make any listener shimmy.

Trumpeter and vocalist, Harry Angus, says the new, as-yet untitled record harks back to their musical roots.

“In many ways this record is a return to our original aesthetic, a very simple thing; that the music is for dancing and feeling good; and that the beat of the record belongs to all nations.”

“Having said that, we are ten years older now than when we made that first record. So the lyrical content is different, the energy is different. But it should make people smile, make people dance,” says Angus. “That’s all we want.”

“In many ways this record is a return to our original aesthetic, a very simple thing; that the music is for dancing and feeling good.” – Harry Angus, The Cat Empire

Fans will get to test drive the jazz/ska/Latin/hip hop band’s new tunes as they tour the country next month. Given their reputation for energetic, rambunctious live shows and based on the crowd’s response at St. Kilda Festival last weekend, it’s sure to be one hell of a tour, with all Melbourne and Sydney shows already sold out.

They’ll also be hitting the festival circuit with spots at WOMAdelaide in March and the highly anticipated, star-studded Byron Bay Bluesfest over Easter.

2013 is set to be a big year for co-frontman Felix Riebl too, who late year was announced as the Music Director of Melbourne’s inaugural White Night Festival. Taking place this coming weekend, Melbourne will be transformed into a 24-hour city with music, arts, and cultural events filling the streets from dusk ’til dawn.

This album is the latest in a string of great Australian releases due this year from the likes of The DronesBernard FanningBirds of Tokyothe AMP shortlisted Hermitude, Hilltop Hoods, Airbourne, Boy & Bear, Matt Corby, Washington, Nick Cave & The Bad SeedsSuper Wild Horses, a swathe of new material from Pond, and the second album from Mebourne twosome, Big Scary.

There is also a strong selection of international albums due out this year, including Fall Out Boy‘s latest, The Strokes’ fifth LP, Daft Punk’s long-awaited fourth studio album, their first after switching labels to Columbia RecordsDavid Bowie’s first new album in a decade, and let’s not forget new records due soon from Vampire WeekendYeah Yeah YeahsBlack Rebel Motorcycle Club, and The Knife’s 98 minute opusShaking The Habitual.

“Brighter Than Gold” will be available for digital download from February 22nd through The Cat Empire’s own label Two Shoes Records via Inertia. You can have a listen to the new track and scope the tour dates below.

The Cat Empire Australian Tour 2013 Dates

Sydney: Friday 1st March @ Metro Theatre *SOLD OUT*

Sydney: Saturday 2nd March @ Metro Theatre (Under 18s) *SOLD OUT*

Sydney: Saturday 2nd March @ Metro Theatre *SOLD OUT*

Sydney: Sunday 3rd March @ Metro Theatre *ONLY A FEW TICKETS REMAINING*

Adelaide: Friday 8th March @ WOMADelaide Festival

Bunbury: Saturday 9th March @ Graham Bricknell Music Shell

Fremantle: Sunday 19th March @ Fremantle Arts Centre

Melbourne: Monday 20th March @ Prince Of Wales *SOLD OUT*

Melbourne: Tuesday 21st March @ Prince Of Wales *SOLD OUT*

Melbourne: Wednesday 22nd March @ Prince Of Wales *SOLD OUT*

Byron Bay: Sunday 31st March @ Bluesfest

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