The Cat Empire are back, long live The Cat Empire! The iconic Melbourne band have unveiled their new era today with new single ‘Thunder Rumbles’.
OG members Felix Riebl and Ollie McGill have welcomed some new expert musicians with a song international flavour into the fold, including Seychelles singer Grace Barbe, Cuban-born trumpeter Lazaro Numa, and the band’s close friend Neda Rahmani, who boasts strong connections to Afro and Brazilian drumming cultures.
The new ensemble’s first offering is ‘Thunder Rumbles’, an explosive concoction of melody, percussion, and brass. And for Riebl, it’s really business as usual for his band.
“It’s got all the elements (and then some…) of a Cat Empire classic,” he insists. “New Orleans-y sousaphone kicks it off, makes its way to a stadium Latin break in the middle, then keeps flying from there. It’s brass heavy (played by The Horns of Leroy), drum heavy, and high drama. The lyrics are more or less a brawl of celebration.”
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Rahmani was also thrilled to be involved: “This was too much fun to record! The atmosphere in the studio was epic – joining so many Melbournian brass and percussion, with the core Cat Empire band members rocking through to steer and bless the track. Random fact: My name actually means ‘thunder’ in Farsi (language in Iran, where I was born) so this song is very special to me.”
You can listen to The Cat Empire’s new track, and watch the brand-new accompanying music video, below. Directed by Nick Campbell, the clip aims to capture the intensity of a live Cat Empire show.
It’s the live setting where the band’s true spirit comes alive, and The Cat Empire are currently on a huge tour of Europe and the UK, with 90% of their shows selling out already. The new era, it seems, is off to a flyer.
The Cat Empire’s “Thunder Rumbles” is out now.