Songstress Cat Canteri has released her new album, When We Were Young.
Songstress Cat Canteri has released her new album, When We Were Young. Contributed

Cat’s back and she’s solo

CAT Canteri is one of those people who just seems to 'get it'.

She has a way of taking a particular issue or struggle and communicating that through song in a way that reflects back in such an organic way.

The singer-songwriter and drummer in alt-country group The Stillsons has now released a solo record, When We Were Young - an album that holds no pretext, no show - just simple, real emotion that seems to connect with a wide audience.

Canteri said it's been a really great experience making her own album, one that has quite a few personal songs too.

In fact, just the day before I spoke to Canteri, she has posted an acoustic version of one of her songs, See My Bones, on Facebook with an explanation about why she wrote it.

A deeply moving song, she has revealed she suffered from an eating disorder for quite a few years.

"It was a really hard time in my life and for my family," she said.

"I just felt like it's still such a stigmatised thing, and often I think people don't know how to talk about it.

"Like any mental illness you can feel isolated and alone."

So she decided to post it publicly, along with an insight into her own journey, and in the following 24 hours, when I spoke with her, she said she'd already had quite a lot of people giving her feedback.

"I've had a few people contact me and thank me for writing the song, people saying 'Hey, thanks for sharing that. That was really touching.'

"It's been a really full on 24 hours."

She said the response to that song, and her album as a whole, has been amazing so far.

"I think when people connect with your music, it's just a really, really amazing feeling," Canteri said.

"When you meet someone, or they communicate to you that they get it, that's the absolute ultimate compliment."

Canteri has obviously had some experience with the industry as part of The Stillsons, and she said that has helped her a lot now in the process of making a solo album.

"I've always wanted to record a solo record," she said.

"I think for a long time I didn't necessarily have the skills to do that.

"I think my experience with The Stillsons have taught me a lot of skills that have helped me do things now as a solo artist."

And while she's busy with her solo career, and some of the other members are also doing the same, she said it's not the end for The Stillsons.

"There will definitely be other Stillsons records down the track," she said.

"I'm not sure when - we don't have any plans to do anything in the next year."

After three years of back-to-back cycles of record, release, tour, they're definitely enjoying the slower pace of life at the moment.

On a solo note though, she can't wait to tour in the Northern Rivers on her first ever solo tour.

"I'm excited to play in Mullumbimby, I've never been there before (to perform)," Canteri said.

"I really love the area, I've been through Mullumbimby before when we've played Byron Bay (with The Stillsons)."

"I've heard it's a really great community (and) I know it's a really beautiful space. I'm looking forward to having a really chilled out night."

She said the Mullumbimby show will actually be a quite unique gig on the tour, because it's the only really "chilled out" venue she will be playing, as opposed to a pub or club.

"I'm really looking forward to it."


Canteri plays St Martins Hall, Mullumbimby on Saturday September 27 and The Rails, Byron Bay on Thursday October 2.

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