credit: Michael Benedetti
Why do we wear masks? To do and say things we otherwise could not. Catastrophie is not a band, exactly: it’s a front, led by one woman’s voice through kinetic, fluid tracks. The collaborators have known each other since childhood, and are finding new ways to get under each other’s skin. With that deep familiarity comes peril—how do you say what you’ve never been able to say before?
One answer comes in the music of Catastrophie, which finds the means for both confession and remove, tragedy and irreverence, lightness and friction. The songs are stratospheric, fueled by the pressure of holding in emotions that aren’t allowed out, but float back to earth to confess the tenderest needs. The choreographed live shows veer into improvisation and infectious dance, and the videos are buoyantly glib—but dead serious.
If Catastrophie is a mask, a mythical feminine who fears and invites chaos, it’s a mask that allows her to be startling in her directness, and to deliver lyrics with unaffected candor and a hint of wounded malice.
Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.