Album Review: Cattle & Cane – Golden

Teeside sibling duo Cattle & Cane are no stranger to this blog, having been featured on these pages since 2019. Most recently, we shared their track Rough Mercy in May and now they’re back with a new album release. Ten tracks that explore all facets of love and relationships, it’s called Golden.

By Graeme Smith

The album opens with its title track. It’s a slow and stripped-back start, giving plenty of room to Joe’s vocals. As the track progresses, the arrangement builds and Helen’s vocals join in. The pair’s voices really do work beautifully together, especially in the harmonies of the third verse, when the track really hits its soft folk rock stride. It’s a fantastic start.

From that soaring start IOU brings things back to Earth a little with a bluesy tale of facing up to life’s difficulties. Despite its heavy subject, there’s a hopeful lightness about it, especially in a chorus that lets loose with vivid storytelling. It’s an early highlight.

The aforementioned Rough Mercy gives us Helen’s vocals at their most expressive in the verse before we get a lively, singalong chorus. Whatever Happens Here is an introspective blend of the bright and the dark. Icarus leans into the pop end of the Cattle & Cane musical spectrum. It has an emotional groove that’s irresistible.

Dancing slows things down with a lilting, romantic intro. It tells a story of redemption that turns its early reflective arrangement into a hopeful climax. Sitting at the heart of the album it gives us some wonderful contrast from what’s come before and is another highlight.

Break A Heart is a simmering soft rock song with a catchy chorus. Room In A Heart is a redemptive ballad led by Joe’s soulful vocals. Backwards Walking is perhaps the album’s darkest and most delicate moment. Come My Way then closes the album with a slow-burning number that ends with tentative triumph. It’s a final highlight.

Cattle & Cane will be taking the album on tour from December to March, with a local stop at Oporto in Leeds on 26 February. The full tour dates and tickets can be found here.

Golden is produced by Luke Elgie and was recorded at home. It was mixed by Mike Butler and John Martindale, and features Thomas Fripp, Liam Fender, Ada Francis and Harry Fausing Smith. The album is out on 17 November via Quiet Crown, including a special eco-friendly vinyl pressed locally at Press on Vinyl, Middlesborough.