CAT's "Strawberry Milkshake" Is The Sugary Pop Masterpiece You've Been Craving

LA-based artist CAT is a creator of name-based literature puns and really good pop music. The former is evidenced by her too-clever social media handle (@thegreatcaatsby) and the latter by her songwriting debut “Strawberry Milkshake,” which is out today on all streaming platforms: “I couldn’t be [happier] and [more] excited because this song is so personal to me,” CAT tells Suburban Rose. “It’s not just the story and lyrics I’m proud of but the attitude and feeling of the song.”

But the single isn’t CAT’s debut; in April of this year she released “Noah,” which was written by her best friend and bandmate Noël Dombroski. This single can be found on Soundcloud, and she even has a music video for it. “Directed by Adrian Vega Albela Osorio,” she introduces, “[it’s] a take on vintage B-horror films.” It features CAT and her “closest friends […] running around in [thrifted] dresses.” In it, we see CAT walk into her high school prom with a bat which she then uses to literally murder who the viewer assumes is the boy she was meant to go with (presumably the titular Noah). The camera doesn’t show the action, as is the glory of the B-movie, but it cuts back to CAT looking satisfied with herself. It’s delightfully cheesy in the way that B-movies typically are, and in all honesty, the video is incredible but especially for it being her debut.

Where “Noah” was written for her by someone else, “Strawberry Milkshake” is different because it’s all CAT: her words, her melodies. The production is of a much higher quality than “Noah” which is indicative of CAT’s dedication to her craft and the seriousness with which she takes her music. She tells us, “I’ve done a lot of [self-discovery] in the past year, [from] finding my own voice in my songwriting and singing [to] learning how to take a song from my keyboard in the studio. It’s been great to play around with my writing and explore different sides of me as an [artist.]”

The most important thing about “Strawberry Milkshake” is that the track is good. Simply put, it’s pure pop, and it’s a lot of fun to listen to. Rhythmically, it’s saccharine without feeling intrusive in the way that earworm-style pop might feel. Its lyrics are specific and concise and edgy without feeling tawdry. Says CAT:

"[It] is a reflection of who I was when I was [sixteen] at a specific time in my life. I was in a relationship that wasn’t right, and I wasn’t happy. I didn’t know how to express […] that I was upset, [which is] something I’m still learning to get better at today, but I kind of shut down and [got] quiet."

She goes on to describe the scene: they’re in a car, and she uses the radio—music—as a mechanism to drown out her thoughts. It works until her then-boyfriend turns the radio back off, at which point the two are just stuck in silence. It’s a very particular scene, a heavy one, and it’s offset by the upbeat nature of the music itself. At its least, it’s easy to listen to. At its most, it leaves you aching for sixteen-year-old CAT. She sings, “I don’t need a man who doesn’t understand / that I’m the coolest girl I know,” and it leaves you wondering how she ended up in the situation. It leaves you wishing for that second-rate then-boyfriend to leave for good so that CAT can move forward and not be subjected to this treatment, for her to move and grow beyond it.

“This song is about searching for happiness and learning what it means to have confidence in yourself,” CAT explains. “It’s about setting yourself free from any relationships that [make] you feel any less than you deserve and that if you want a milkshake, drink the damn milkshake. Life is too short to be unhappy.”

Find CAT:


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