Kat Robichaud & The Darling Misfits – Self-Titled
What does a person do after crowd surfing on The Voice and doubling up on her goal in her Kickstarter campaign? If that person were Kat Robichaud, the answer would be “make a kick-ass album!” We recently interviewed her to learn more about her experience going back to her time in Raleigh with her former band The Design. Now, after a big network TV show, singing with Amanda Palmer and a move cross-country to San Francisco, it’s her time to shine.
Robichaud’s self-titled debut is exactly what anybody who has been paying attention would expect from the David Bowie fanatic. The album is fourteen tracks filled with glitz, glam and theatrics. With a voice built for theater and a personality that mixes Monty Python with drag queen shows, anything is possible.
It starts with the very first song. “The Elephant Song” (also featured a second time bookending the release as the closing track) is driven by a marching-style drumbeat. It’s Sgt. Pepper’s meets Freddie Mercury, and as the tension builds the listener might actually get out of their seat as Kat tells you to “go the fuck home!”
There are actual instruments used throughout the album. You hear an actual piano, even real horns. It’s refreshing compared to songs on the radio that refer to “trumpets” and the artist doesn’t even bother to have one on the track. The musicians are phenomenal. The backline is solid and unassuming at times, and jumps out to the front in perfect little sequences. The horns add texture and complexity to the melodies, and the lead guitar licks mix well with Robichaud’s powerful vocals the way Brian May complemented the theatrics of his front man.
What’s most interesting for those who have followed Robichaud for some time, is the maturity in the singer herself. The days of The Design were filled with the signature growls and leg kicks, but what Robichaud sold more than anything else was sex appeal. With the debut album, her focus is more on creating powerful songs in her style. It’s much more sophisticated. The sexuality is there, but not forced on you. The songs can be taken at the surface with all the glam you can muster, but underneath there are messages to be heard.
There’s the satire of “Rockstars Don’t Apologize” or the spotlight shined on double standards in the jazzy “Definition of Pretty.” She attacks stereotypes and screams feminism in “The Apple Pie and the Knife,” but it’s not all “I am woman, hear me roar” either. Kat Robichaud is nothing if not quirky. Who else would choose their Dr. Who-inspired track “Somebody Call the Doctor” and get such a positive response?
Let’s be clear, this album will not be for everybody. While there are the heartfelt ballads that are filled with gut-wrenching vulnerability (“Why Do You Love Me Now” and “It’s Cruel That You Should Be So Beautiful”), this album is not what you hear on today’s radio. That’s what makes Kat Robichaud who she is. She pushed against the norm in her season on The Voice, and she continues to walk her own path now. Those of us smart enough to pay attention will sit back and watch, and enjoy every glam-rock second of it.
WORDKRAPHT Rating: 5 Stars!
Album Name: Kat Robichaud and the Darling Misfits
Release Date: January, 2015
Genre: Theatrical Rock, Glam
Location: San Francisco, CA
Members: Kat Robichaud