Except me. With this song. Again after 5 years when I first heard it.
It was a quiet evening in September. It wasn’t the 21st, but I remember it clearly. Ella (Melendez), Cattski, and I were sitting at the al fresco area of a restaurant. Cattski pulled out her guitar – yes, both musicians had their guitars with them – and started strumming a melody. I was honored and moved to be one of the firsts she played that song for. So moved in fact that my eyes welled up, hidden behind my phone while capturing that rare moment on video.
It was Fall, the latest single that she’s releasing in a few days. That was only her working title because she wrote it during that season. “This was written in 2014 and it was my first time to experience the fall season in the US (East Coast) and I fell in love with it. It was just perfect – melancholic and bittersweet. It was cold but not too cold, and it had this perfect moist breeze (unlike the winter when it’s so dry) that hugs you like a friend you haven’t seen in a long time,” Cattski shares.
This “bittersweet melancholy” can definitely be heard in the soaring melody and painfully honest lyrics, which is filled with visual cues to put the listener in Cattski’s shoes for an almost transcendent listening experience. “I used my environment to be the content of my lyrics. The wind, the trees, rain, and the coffee that was brewing – all symbolisms of what I wanted to be a part of. My huge realization was that the environment didn’t need me to be a part of it. It will go on without me. I wanted that to be obvious in the song,” Cattski expresses. As the music producer of her own song, she wanted to bring the listener to the time and environment she wrote it. Scenes like “leaves flying, melancholy all around, hair flying in the cool breeze, the cozy indoors, the warmth of coffee or hot coco. And that gloomy scene after a rain when you can look at your reflection on the puddles of water” make for “that sadness that you want to revisit, that hollow feeling, that lump in your throat,” Cattski shares. She continues, “I created this environment with a clean plucking electric guitar with a lot delay effects, I put some synths that I panned around to create the space for all these feelings to fly and, finally, towards the end, some slow big kick drums with some satisfying sub bass that you can only feel, not hear.”
The sub bass isn’t the only thing to feel in this song. Cattski’s gift as a songwriter is making her songs pulsate with emotion that her listeners know and relate to. Fall deals with a reality that many of us go through, but rarely open up about. Fall is a hesitant farewell. “The song is about a long overdue goodbye. It’s a goodbye that has lasted a long time, like it’s a very, very long process. It’s a goodbye that didn’t want to end. Like it just wants to stay in that one place and doesn’t want to move. But it’s on the brink of finally breaking free but not quite. Like a f*cking wuss,” Cattski confesses.
The chorus declares, “It’s my turn to say goodbye / It’s my turn to know what it’s like / It’s not that I want to leave you / It’s really ‘cause I should / This time I really should.” The entire song leads up to the bridge punctuated with a cathartic confession, “To hope against hope / Oh please forgive me / That in my absence / You’ll learn to love me.” Reading these lines is a punch to the gut, but listening to it being sung with Cattski’s voice feels like rubbing salt on an open wound. It also doesn’t help that vulnerability lives in her vibrato.
Everyone will have the pleasure of experiencing Fall on Friday, October 2, which also happens to be Cattski’s birthday. You will fall in love with the song as I did 5 years ago, but on the day its songwriter was born. It will be special.
Written by Micah Almazan