“Pop songs like cast in silver”
- Rolling Stone
As a child, singer Cate Martin wanted to play the piano any time of the day or night. She challenged her piano teacher by adding her own melodies to Bach’s compositions. Later, at the age of 15, when she spent a year abroad in New Zealand, writing songs was suddenly considered doing homework in music class and so she began to marry her numerous poems with her music. Still, most of the time these songs stayed a well-kept secret.
Micha Holland, too, approached rock and pop via classical music. His childhood weekends were spent playing the violin in churches and with choirs. He took the money of his confirmation and bought his first electric guitar and started playing the riffs of his favorite records – but only the parts he liked. When Cate and Micha met he was already a highly esteemed and well-booked musician, experienced in music production, had a lot on his plate and wanted many things – except another band. But both felt at once what can be heard in every note of their debut “In Every Move”: this is special. Musically. Personally. And technically, too, as their music reminds of artists like The Cardigans (in their folk phase), Beth Gibbons, or Rilo Kiley.
Cate and Micha decided to take their time. They gained experience on stage under the name Cate’s Leila, and recorded their debut as Ivy Flindt only when they were absolutely certain of their music, and only took a break for Cate to finish her degree in Philosophy and Literature. After, when the album recordings were done, Cate travelled back to New Zealand and studied painting in Wellington and searched for additional outlets for her creative energy. Some works of this period are featured in the album’s deluxe edition, an art book in vinyl format, 36 pages, hard cover bound, published by Gudberg Nerger. Micha went a similar way and devoted his time to photography, using his grandfather’s Konica 35mm. His analog pictures are found in the artwork of the LP and CD.
Back to the music of Ivy Flindt: Another feature of their music emerged during the search for the right producer. When a friend suggested they turn around their mutually favorite record to see who produced it, the choice fell on the beautiful, folksy, melancholic “Long Gone Before Daylight” by The Cardigans, returning to their sound after their colorful “Lovefool” years. Produced by Per Sunding in his Tambourine Studios, Ivy Flindt sent him their demo tape at once. To their surprise, Sunding replied and invited them to come to Malmø. He was the “lucky guy” who got the letter on his desk, so Sunding said later in an interview. And adds: “Cate and Micha, Ivy Flindt, it isn’t only the music, it is so much more: Their whole way of life is inspiring, it’s exactly what they like and what they want to do, they are really pursuing their dream. To see them live their art, every moment is a possible moment for an artistic expression, writing lyrics, taking a picture, painting a picture, talking about what they’re doing. That was inspiring just being close to that energy field, it was like being close to some movie going on.”
The string ensemble that played on “In Every Move” was enthralled just the same. Cate and Micha decided they needed the string sound of Anna Ternheim’s naked version of “Lover’s Dream” – the sound of the Stockholm Session Strings that Lady Gaga had already worked with. Cate called from the studio in Malmø and convinced the conductor to listen to the demo tapes – and again was rewarded with his acceptance. The only catch was that the recordings had to take place in Stockholm as soon as possible as the strings were about to go on world tour the following week. That’s how Ivy Flindt got to the Stockholm Session Strings in the legendary Atlantis Studio in only a few days time where already Elvis Costello and Mando Diao recorded. And since it proved to work so well sending music to convince others, they repeated it on their search for a photographer for their album cover. The choice fell on Peter Hoennemann who usually works all around the world for Vogue, ZEIT and Vanity Fair.
“Play the first song and simply let Cate Martin and Micha Holland’s music sink in. If you ask me: whoever has no goose bumps by the chorus of the opener “Seal My Lips” is numb anyway. Perhaps this is a little harsh and sounds like emotional blackmail. Or maybe the first single “Young And Pretty” this guitar- twang in the beginning, this piano part while Cate sings: “your wounds won’t come in handy/ once you’re back on your own”. How great is this? However, everybody should be on board by the fourth song on the album “When You’re Not Around”. Cate’s dark timbre will have proven abundantly how securely it can wander through the nuances of “lascivious”, “tough”, and “deeply melancholic” while Micha Holland’s guitar can lead, support, occupy or leave space – providing the perfect antithesis to the misconception that modern pop-music has to overwhelm and deafen”
- Daniel Koch / Intro Magazine