Cat Dowling The Believer (Can Do Records) ***
Alphastates enjoyed some modest domestic success roughly a decade ago but little has been heard of frontwoman Catherine Dowling in the years since.
This fine debut album suggests she has been using her time judiciously out of the spotlight.
Less in thrall to the electronica that informed the Alphastates sound, these songs have been hewn from more organic instrumentation, including strings, and there are a handful of gems here.
Come On is an engaging, breezy tune not a million miles from Cathy Davey and Nina Hynes territory and it's capable of getting her noticed further afield.
Meanwhile, Somebody Else will come into its own in a live setting thanks to the driving electric guitar and Dowling's spirited delivery.
While The Believer is not without its humdrum tracks – Gospel Song is little more than sub-Lisa Hannigan and her observances sometimes veer into the bleedin' obvious – this is an impressive statement of intent and one that the Kilkenny troubadour will surely build upon.
KEY TRACKS Come On; Somebody Else
Day & Night