I’m a little late to the Catfish Haven bandwagon, and my introduction (literally) to the Chicago three-piece is a pretty funny story.
After the Cold War Kids show a couple weeks ago, we ended up at Casey Moore’s, a great (and rumored to be haunted) bar in Tempe where hipsters, frat boys and co-eds collide. I’d had a bit to drink but still was able to recognize the mutton chops of Catfish Haven’s Miguel Castillo. So on the way out, I played the “Hey, you’re in a band” card. “Catfish Haven, right?” He seemed genuinely excited to have been recognized (or maybe he was just drunk, too). So I chatted with the band about Chicago, the Bears and Palatine, my old home town in Illinois. They were playing Modified the next night, which I wasn’t gonna be able to attend. So I bought their latest CD, Tell Me, instead, right there in the parking lot, where their tour van was located. Besides, drummer Ryan Farnham was wearing a Chicago Bulls sweatshirt. Gotta love that.
I really had no idea what to expect from Tell Me because I’d never listened to Catfish Haven before. Was this gonna be another run-of-the-mill indie flyby? After my first listen, I was happy to know Catfish Haven is nothing of the sort. The retro-soul and commingling of blues and folk makes for a refreshing change of pace. This is the best type of album: full of hooks and grooves and, more important, concise. I love a band that can get to the point in four minutes or less.
Though I can’t quite pinpoint a comparison, Catfish Haven’s style recalls soul from a different generation, tunes better heard out of a jukebox than an iPod.
Catfish Haven | Crazy for Leaving