Catself is remembered by her audiences for her unusual but catchy melodies, clever lyrics and the atmosphere she creates, where fairytale meets energy and humour. Her songs move both between genres and between moods and themes. Thanks to this variety in her music, Catself performs in very different venues, from art cafés and galleries to rock clubs and festivals, where she often appears next to hard rock, punk, metal and gothic bands.
Before focusing full time on music, Catself worked in various occupations: English teacher, classroom assistant, waitress, berrypicker, dog handler and nature guide in the Arctic. All these experiences and travels gave her a wealth of ideas for songs, but her other most important source of inspiration is the natural world with all its perfect creatures, plants and falling asteroids.
Catself started gaining an international following in 2008, after she posted her first home studio recordings online. Soon they were played in various radio programmes, including BBC Introducing with Tom Robinson, a number of new music programmes in the Netherlands and a folk music show in Australia. In early 2009, Catself was invited to perform at a youth festival in Morocco after the organisers found her music online. During the same year, Catself was interviewed for the Swedish-speaking channel of Finnish National Radio, Radio X3M, and a 45-min documentary about her start in music was made for the Finnish Swedish-speaking TV channel YLE FST5. Invitations to play concerts in various countries in Europe followed, and new fans supported Catself with € 40 000 on a crowdfunding site to record her debut album, making her the first Finnish artist to succeed at crowdfunding.
To accompany her on the album, Catself invited Poland’s iconic folk band Saint Nicholas Orchestra (Orkiestra św. Mikołaja). The album was recorded and mixed in Preisner Studio in Poland, by one of Poland’s top sound engineers, Tadeusz Mieczkowski. The album work is completed, however, problems of the crowdfunding company and its final bankruptcy (while they still owed Catself a large part of her funds) have delayed the album’s release and made Catself aware that it would be better not to be completely alone especially while working on big projects. While she continues to work on her career on her own, Catself is looking for a suitable record label to release the album, and the subsequent albums, with.
One of the album's songs, "Alien Vampiress Is Fitting In", can be found on YouTube, together with a video by Dutch director Riske de Vries.
During the work on the album and after its completion, Catself several times performed her songs together with Saint Nicholas Orchestra, including a concert at Mikołajki Folkowe festival.
After that Catself mostly performed solo and occasionally with guest musicians until the end of 2018, when she was joined for the first time by jazz drummer Annewil Harms from Groningen, the Netherlands. Soon after that classical cellist Eleanore Tan (the Netherlands) joined the rehearsals.
While Catself has played a few solo shows and duo shows (with Annewil), plans for the trio shows have had to be postponed because of the pandemic. Catself hopes to start performing as a trio in the second half of 2021, and in the meantime will play solo shows, whenever it is safe and possible.
Some festival performances:
Sun Festival, Marrakech, Morocco
Mikołajki Folkowe, Lublin, Poland (with Saint Nicholas Orchestra)
Faces Ethnofestival, Finland
Fishguard Folk Festival, Wales, UK (guest performance)
The Great Escape Festival (The Alternative Escape), Brighton, UK
Blank Generation Festival, London, UK
Taribush Kuna Festival, the Netherlands
Let’s Gro!, Groningen, the Netherlands (twice)
Buitenfestival OORD, Emmeloord, (twice)
Permanent Beta Festival, the Netherlands
WinterVelWaart Festival, Groningen, the Netherlands
Dichters Festival, Utrecht, the Netherlands
Zuiderveen Festival, Winschoten, the Netherlands
Playtime Festival, Mongolia
Three UK tours (in 2014, 2015 and 2016)
Performing at Amnesty International Write For Rights marathon in Groningen, the Netherlands (three years in a row)
Full list of past performances: https://www.catself.com/pastshows.php
"In a world of sound-alike music, Catself is producing unique songs that don't always go where you might expect, and that's a very good thing. The fact she can do so with the result being memorable and capable of repeated listening is the sign of a rare talent."
Michael Hunter, music journalist and radio host, Adelaide, Australia
"Catself's style is quite different from the rest in the genre. No love songs or (love) sadness and other clichés, but songs about nature, dreams, mermaids, hitchhiking in Spain, fishing and fishermen, drunken Finns, runaway cats, hit deer, bunnies struck by the lightning and the Apocalypse. All this accompanied by herself on guitar, which was for the second set exchanged for a piano. She kept the audience breathless and captivated till the end."
Yvo Broekhoven, music programmer and promoter at Pekelpop, the Netherlands
"A really original sound, utterly different to anything I’ve heard for a long time."
Nordic Music Review, UK