Laissez-Faire: a term usually used to indicate the philosophy behind a capitalistic government system. To let things take their own course without the restrictions of a large infrastructure dictating, mandating, suppressing and expanding economical trends- it’s one of my favorite terms- and one that can apply just as aptly to the world of the arts as it can to governments. What first attracted me to Sol Cat was the laissez-faire that seemed to shape their persona; a spirit of “anything goes” contained inside a well defined safari-rock sound.
Whether performing on stage at Mercy Lounge in a mélange of grunge-meets-Hawaiin t-shirts, or staging their slip-and-slide music video for “Fishin’ With Johnny,” the five-piece group has mastered the stylistic approach to a “laissez-faire” performance. Each song meets with on organic production, rising effortlessly in its dynamics, with each solo taking its own organic course. This has always been the appeal of bands like Sol Cat; unlike some of their contemporary counterparts, they host an apparent coolness that reads as though unplanned. Their collective style is built upon a shared love for the same niche, and not a deliberate attempt to brand themselves.
Sol Cat’s latest release is a three-song EP Welcome to Cowabunga; for those of you wondering, Cowabunga was the staple greeting by Chief Thunderthud on the Peanuts Gallery (one of the greatest by-products of a “laissez-faire” society in the twentieth century), later adopted by a laid-back surfer culture. Makes sense the group would adapt the name to jangling rhythms; the low and raspy voice of lead singer Brett accompanies the wailing jungle aesthetic that the EP creates. As has been the case in history, “Welcome to Cowabunga” maintains the niche- the safari-based sounds swelling inside a Nashville-based studio- that has brought Sol Cat their repute.
For this photo shoot, we partnered with DCXV to shoot Sol Cat at Acme Feed and Seed (can you spot Sam, the sushi impresario?) in their newest styles, featuring both their iconic “I Believe In Nashville” designs, and fresh apparel. The brand epitomizes the nationwide appeal of our city, with the hope being that audiences will “realize through our brand and everything we do that there’s a lot more going on here than country music, and that a lot of things they love wherever they’re from, we love and we have too,” says founder Adrien Saporiti. With the ubiquitous appeal of Sol Cat’s light-hearted anthems that unveil a cross-country depiction of generational amusement, the picture pairing was a seamless fit. Photos by Kate Cauthen.