Celebrated Hobart, Australia post-punk duo The Native Cats have released their fifth album The Way On Is The Way Off – their first new album for Chapter Music.

The Native Cats are bassist Julian Teakle and singer and electronics operator Chloe Alison Escott. Spiritual forebears to the current wave of speak-singing post-punk a la Dry Cleaning and Sleaford Mods, the duo have grown a sizeable cult following from their chilly Tasmanian home since the late 2000s. Their sparse, catchy, bass- driven post-punk is offset by Chloe’s lyrics, which twist, confound and linger. The band have toured the US and played Memphis’ legendary Goner Fest, supported Modest Mouse, been written up by the likes of Stereogum, NPR and Brooklyn Vegan, and performed at Meredith Music Festival, Mona Foma and the Sydney Opera House.

In 2020, they were riding a growing wave of recognition and admiration following their best run of records to date, culminating in killer double A- side single Two Creation Myths. But the pandemic and Australia’s extended lockdowns brought with them a period of intense loneliness, isolation and despair. Chloe’s confidence as a lyricist, singer and performer was at an all-time low.

Even in those low times, the apparition of Native Cats LP #5 just kept on calling out. Julian never stopped recording instrumental demos and emailing them to Chloe. Chloe never stopped writing, and even began revisiting lyrics that had previously felt too raw or revealing to include. Small moments of inspiration grew into more substantial ones. The band committed to weekly songwriting sessions, started to accept invitations to perform again, and had crowds fall instantly in love with their new songs.

Recorded with producer Ben von Fürstenberg (A. Swayze & The Ghosts), The Way On Is The Way Off takes a meticulous, painterly approach to the band’s heavy, scorching songs. Every element is chosen for its thematic resonance and emotional impact. Chloe’s lyrics arise from deep-rooted trauma and identity issues she is finally facing head-on, as well as reflections on post-punk history and lineage – the title of the album is drawn from the rules and principles David Thomas wrote for his band Pere Ubu. With the setbacks and self-doubt now a distant memory, The Way On Is The Way Off is everything The Native Cats hoped it could be when its completion seemed impossible, and everything they have been working towards since the day they began.

Release: November 10th, 2023, Chapter Music