Is this what the future sounds like?
Magnus August Høiberg, professionally known as Cashmere Cat, has created an alter ego for his latest release, PRINCESS CATGIRL. The record is filled with trap-like percussion, warped, infantile vocals and futuristic sounds. It is void of the guest-heavy tracklist Cashmere Cat used to so eminently rely on. The project, only seven songs long, moves away from the festival-ready sounds and into an EDM record more geared for personal listening. Høiberg, outside of his persona on PRINCESS CATGIRL, has a reputation for being shy and humbled and using PRINCESS CATGIRL as the face of his music has allowed him to explore other avenues of the electronic dance scene.
The record opens with “FOR YOUR EYES ONLY,” arguably the most commercially pop track from the project and then progressively moves into a more experimental space. His thematic drops are subtler than on his debut record, 9. They’re constrained and melodic, sometimes using muted leads and slowly-swelling pads like on tracks “WITHOUT YOU” or “BACK FOR YOU.” While these are still high-tempo songs, they contain a refined energy not quite ready to hit massive dance floors but instead to place emphasis on the evolving sound that is Cashmere Cat.
While PRINCESS CATGIRL doesn’t have an extensive, artist feature list, it does utilize some iconic samples throughout. “WATERGIRL,” a play on words using Christina Aguilera’s “What a Girl Wants,” is one of the most commercially viable songs from the record, clocking in at exactly three minutes and offering a standard pop song structure with rising intensity and memorable drops. The track “MOO,” samples XXXTENTACION’s “Moonlight,” but offers a chaotic rendition of the once intimate, melodic song XXXTENTACION had released. The song is a compilation of sporadic, percussive instruments, disordered vocal chops that slip in and out of the mix and pious sounding bells to create one of the most memorable cuts from the record.
While there are notable singles off the 18-minute long project, it doesn’t resonate as well as Cashmere Cat’s debut record, 9. The childish vocals of PRINCESS CATGIRL are an unwelcomed juxtaposition with the remarkable features that were tactfully embedded in 9. Of course it’s always beneficial for an artist to strive for new themes and explore new ideas, but hopefully, Høiberg’s tendency to hide behind the persona of PRINCESS CATGIRL is just a phase, as the record ultimately doesn’t hold half of the engaging variety as his first album.