Mikaela Cougar Shares New Single, ‘Black Cat,’ From Upcoming EP

Auckland-based singer-songwriter Mikaela Cougar pens the indie-rock tune ‘Black Cats’ as an ode to the artists, poets, and children of the bohemian revolution.

To mark the final single from her upcoming sophomore EP, Mikaela Cougar follows on from her previous hit ‘Outwit You’ with the 80s-inspired and rock-forward new single, ‘Black Cats.’ An elegant guitar plucking kicks off the track, drawing in a tender percussive and bass pattern to rivet Mikaela’s soft croons. With no preconceived concept in mind while working with her producer Noema Te Hau, the nod to 80s music was the result of a fun experiment. “I was listening to some 80’s vibed stuff at the time,” Mikaela tells us about the track. “We (Noema and Mikaela) just tried to make an 80’s influenced track for fun; it wasn’t serious. But we ended up really digging it!”

As an homage to the misfits of the generations, ‘Black Cats’ particularly paints the dismal picture of circus freaks and tightrope walkers. Mikaela explains the consensus that these circus performances yield, noting how people anticipate a tightrope walker to make it to the end but also wait in amusement for an accidental fall, whereas circus freaks are made to be a laughing stock due to their bodily disadvantages or differences. These themes inspired her to write ‘Black Cats,’ as she relates her experiences of that with the circus entertainers.

“I feel like the path I’ve chosen is not the norm,” she explains, connecting the dots in her analogy of a tightrope walker. “Then things started to fall apart and I was dreading the thought of going out and having people ask me how it’s going, I felt like I was falling/failing before I’d even really made it halfway towards my goals and I was about to be a laughing stock for people.” She adds on to describe her metaphorical take on relating to the circus freaks, saying, “I feel like I was born to do music like I have no choice, totally out of my control, and don’t get me wrong I’m so blessed, but at the time I felt like it was a curse, it felt like such a lonely path and a struggle to just simply try and be my true authentic self.”

Prior to ‘Black Cats,’ Mikaela rolled out a series of singles from her upcoming EP, which included ‘Outwit You,’ ‘Can You Tell,’ ‘Dragon Riders,’ and ‘Skinny Dipping Night Skies.’ While each track takes a different sonic approach, the EP is tied together by the concepts explored within Mikaela’s mind. She shares, “I made all these tracks while I was living out in my beach witch love hut in Bethells beach, I feel like they all hold something really special within them because of my environment at that time. Te Henga is such a special, magical, inspiring, creative place.” The backdrop of Bethells Beach and the influence of 80s music wrought a Stevie Nicks-esque vibe to ‘Black Cats,’ with Mikaela citing that the 90s rock band era influenced her sound by artists such as Alanis Morissette, P!nk, Cyndi Lauper, No Doubt, Kate Bush, Jack White, and Amy Winehouse, among others.

The upcoming EP comes three years after the release of Mikaela’s debut project, ‘Lucky Stars.’ Despite writing the EP, the artist was quite hands-off on the production of ‘Lucky Stars,’ which is something she has changed this time around. When asked how the new EP will be different from its predecessor, Mikaela voiced, “For this EP, I was way more hands on with the production. I produced 3 of the songs myself and the songs are also quite different concept wise, they’re a lot more internal. I think you get to know me within my solitude a little more. I’m really proud of all the tracks.”

Mikaela wound up our conversation with a sneak peek of her upcoming music, saying, “For this past year, I’ve been working with a producer on a bunch of tunes and I’m so excited to put those tracks out. It’s quite different to what I’ve released so far, the rock elements are still present for sure but some of the songs are quite stripped back and vulnerable.”

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

‘Black Cats’ by Mikaela Cougar is now out to stream!

Find Mikaela on: Instagram | Spotify

Check out more new releases from Kiwi artists –

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