hydroplane/the cat's miaow

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linked australian indie bands. ethereal pop? hydroplane's "when i was howard hughes" 7" is one of my favourite records ever, for some reason always linked in my mind with piano magic's "i am the sublibrarian". but that's all i know about them a couple of mp3s aside. anyone know anything more?

toby, Thursday, 21 March 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

The Cat's Miaow are pretty terrible IMHO, really really bland. I have one of their CD's somewhere. Hydroplane are good though.

jel --, Thursday, 21 March 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Hydroplane are very nice indeed. I know what you mean re Sub Librarian, both of them have a sort of rainy autumnal quality.

RickyT, Thursday, 21 March 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

I like the Hydroplane album w/ "Crepe Paper Airplane" on it. Particularly that song. As fars as the Cat's Miaow goes, I quite like a few of there songs in a Biff Bang Pow! sort of way, or just for being quite shambling and soft, but only listen to about 1/4 of the songs I have by them. I also like another connected band, The Shapiros. They'll have a comp of their stuff out soon on Bart Cat's Miaow's label Library. Australian indie is sorely under appreciated, I want to hear the new ex-Even As We Speak stuff.

marianna, Thursday, 21 March 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

The Cat's Miaow is featured heavily on the soundtrack to my friend's latest Senior Thesis, "Walk On Water". That's how good they really are.

JM, Thursday, 21 March 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

new ex-Even as we Speak? there is a cd coming out soon??? with bbc sessions from EAWS. I am pretty certain that I never want to hear anothr Matt Love solo single again and Singing bush is just not the same, but Mary Wyer will always be a goddess.

I like Cat's Miaow when BArt sings, but not when Kerry sings. but her voice is not as grating in hydroplane because it seems more washed out there.

keith, Thursday, 21 March 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

I like 'em both, there's something gauzy and lurvly about the Cat's Miaow that contents me greatly, while Hydroplane trip out in gentle fashion. I've not heard them enough to be more coherent than that, but I've heard them enough to know they're good stuff to my ears.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 21 March 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

I made the same Piano Magic magic connection instantly upon hearing Hydroplane's latest album, with the blue sky cover. I still haven't had a chance to hear their earlier releases, although their US label is practically next door to me. What little I've heard of Cat's Miaow has been an I-guess-you-had-to-be-there type of thing.

Curt, Thursday, 21 March 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

i just see that mary + anita are releasing lots of little bits on split 7"s and compilations - so that's what i mean by ex-even as we speak.

funny that, drive-in records is from my birth city. i heartily support all drive-in ventures not only because it was my first exposure to indie music, but because mike babb has a cool guitar and is a gentlemen.

marianna, Thursday, 21 March 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

He's a friendly feller every time I've bought stuff from him. And that Chapter 13 album he released was way cool.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 21 March 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

I should probably refrain from commenting here due to my total conflicts of interest... but..

I agree with Keith about preferring Bart's vocal. Bart is considerably under the impression he has a terrible voice but I find it really appealing. The Bart & Friends CDs are the ones I listen to the most of all the CM/Hydro/B&F stuff. I like Kerrie's voice but it tends to be very samey, which is why I haven't listened to the recent Hydroplane stuff as much as I used to listen to the first album and the CM stuff.

"Crepe Paper Airplane" is by Buddha On The Moon, not Hydroplane.

The new EAWS stuff is out soon on Gifted Records out of Sydney.

The Cat's Miaow were quite a breath of fresh air when they first appeared - their rise to "cult fame" as it were happened in a very B&S fashion - almost completely word of mouth. To this day, Cat's Miaow and Hydroplane stuff still sells barely anything in Australia, which is a total shame.

Bart's Library Records label is of course completely brilliant and you would be foolish to not buy everything on it.

There's really nothing I don't know about Hydroplane and CM so ask away (if there's anything left you want to know)..

electric sound of jim, Thursday, 21 March 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Bart's Library Records label is of course completely brilliant and you would be foolish to not buy everything on it.

He's right, you know. Why, there's this fine release, for one.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 21 March 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Hey, I think I've heard of them. Nice people.

electric sound of jim, Thursday, 21 March 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

I had a dig through my CDs last night...I have Hydroplane's "Hope against hope" which is really nice. A Cat's Miaow CD that I say I don't like, but probably haven't listened to enough, a Bart and Me CD, which I shall listen to, and Buddha on the Moon who are also great.

jel --, Friday, 22 March 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

ha ha ha - i'm so confused. i'm forever hearing one word and thinking of another. must be because i heard both bands at the same time and haven't listened to either in ages. hope no offense was taken. now if i can just think of my favorite Botm song I'll be sure to find it's Hydroplane. Duh.

marianna, Friday, 22 March 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

I listened to some Cat's Miaow mp3s last night, and there's a lot more good stuff there than I had recalled. This is a case where I will be looking to buy the CD, because there's no way I'm gonna try to configure one from downloads.

Curt, Friday, 22 March 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

This thread caused me to download the first Hydroplane song I could find ("Questions I Can't Answer") which I quite like. Thanks, ILM!

Tim, Friday, 22 March 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

one year passes...
Revive, to note that Library has done a full rerelease of A Kiss and a Cuddle and Songs For Girls to Sing -- the latter is the same tracklisting as before, but the first has been expanded and reorganized. Both very spiff and my above opinions remain the same. Ordering info for Australia here, along with links to other spots around the world -- in the US Microindie sells 'em both direct for $10 each, well worth it!

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 16 August 2003 00:22 (eighteen years ago) link

the other people's children cd on library is great, the one on 555 not as much.

keith (keithmcl), Saturday, 16 August 2003 00:31 (eighteen years ago) link

Library is soon to release a retrospective of the label as well (featuring liberal amounts of yours truly, natch)

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Saturday, 16 August 2003 00:34 (eighteen years ago) link

bart library is an underappreciated pop person.

keith (keithmcl), Saturday, 16 August 2003 00:44 (eighteen years ago) link

both were amazing singles bands. i have the cat's maiow "discography" sort of cd... it's good, but to me, they're reduced to the massive infatuation i had with a 7 inch or two of theirs. hydroplane is the same way. just amazing. heart breaking.

hydroplane "failed adventure" 7"

i'd have to go digging through my singles to find the cat's miaow "must have"....

for best results at finding copies of these...


the tone vendor guys are all up into this sort of thing... darla probably can hook you up as well.

msp, Saturday, 16 August 2003 01:11 (eighteen years ago) link

the CM pinnacle was their Sunday 7" and their unreleased Bus Stop 7". perfect.

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Saturday, 16 August 2003 01:17 (eighteen years ago) link

fortunately, like Hood, they're a band that isn't anti-reissue. it's possible to get every little thing they released just by buying four CDs.

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Saturday, 16 August 2003 01:18 (eighteen years ago) link

oh... my fave CM single is the "i kept all your letters" 7"... with tracks "you know it's true", "seventeen" (sugargliders cover), "what time is it there?", and "i can't sleep thinking that you hate me"...


msp, Saturday, 16 August 2003 01:33 (eighteen years ago) link

i fall on the more upbeat side of the fence, definitely.

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Saturday, 16 August 2003 01:38 (eighteen years ago) link

"when i was howard hughes" is still one of the best things ever. i got the shapiros cd the other day with the original version of it and was rather disappointed, i'm much more into this stuff when it's droney than when it's upbeat.

toby (tsg20), Saturday, 16 August 2003 05:12 (eighteen years ago) link

two years pass...
the sound of changing places is a really excellent album.

gear (gear), Saturday, 26 November 2005 19:34 (sixteen years ago) link

Good, good...

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 26 November 2005 19:58 (sixteen years ago) link

There was a Hydroplane song that Peeel played a bit in 1995 or maybe 1996 which I loved a lot but never sought out, and I can remember it pretty clearly (no lyrics, but the tune, kind of) but I don't know anything about them at all except that "We Crossed The Atlantic" was in the festive 50 at some point. So I decided that it must have been that. But can't find it on slsk. If anyone could post it, that would be really fantastic.

Alex in Doncaster (Alex in Doncaster), Saturday, 26 November 2005 21:03 (sixteen years ago) link

i wish i could find a copy of the first hydroplane cd, i lost mine and i want to have it again.

fortunate hazel (f. hazel), Sunday, 27 November 2005 00:50 (sixteen years ago) link

it might be "when i was howard hughes", alex? i need to dig that out again.

toby (tsg20), Sunday, 27 November 2005 02:03 (sixteen years ago) link

i say this because i fell in love with that song via peel in 95. i need to either find it on mp3 or find some way of playing the 7" again - weirdly i thought of this record for the first time in a couple of years two days ago, so it's clearly the time for it.

toby (tsg20), Sunday, 27 November 2005 02:08 (sixteen years ago) link

it may also have been 'international exiles'. it seems weird to me that pretty much all cat's miaow stuff is available on cd but there's a bunch of hydroplane stuff that is still only on deleted vinyl..

jim p. irrelevant (electricsound), Sunday, 27 November 2005 02:17 (sixteen years ago) link

"a bunch" = *all* their 45s

jim p. irrelevant (electricsound), Sunday, 27 November 2005 02:18 (sixteen years ago) link

Here is "We Crossed The Atlantic":

The only other track I have in YSI-able format is the track "Questions I Can't Answer" from the Darla100 compilation, but that's originally a b-side from 1998, so I doubt it's that. I'd put it up anyway but I'm on dialup right now and the first one took longer than expected...

a passing space cadet (reb), Sunday, 27 November 2005 03:09 (sixteen years ago) link

I don't know how to have it show up as a quote, but

"i wish i could find a copy of the first hydroplane cd, i lost mine and i want to have it again.

-- fortunate "

I have a copy you can have if you want it. I rather have someone enjoying it, than it being under the bed in a box. This email works if you want to send me an address to mail it to. I hope you mean the cd with the balloons on the cover, either balloons or some amusement park thing.

svend (svend), Sunday, 27 November 2005 06:57 (sixteen years ago) link

that is the one! with a hot air balloon on the sleeve. how very kind of you, svend! i've dropped you an email.

they did have rather a lot of 7" singles, didn't they? i think i have six or seven.

fortunate hazel (f. hazel), Sunday, 27 November 2005 08:05 (sixteen years ago) link

six 7" and a 12". i just had a look at their discography and am sad to see there are four or five songs of theirs on comps i don't have. andrew w was at my cd launch a fortnight ago but i didn't get a chance to say hello...

jim p. irrelevant (electricsound), Sunday, 27 November 2005 08:08 (sixteen years ago) link

OMG just noticed this on same said website

"the next Hydroplane album due out with a bit of luck around about 2006."

jim p. irrelevant (electricsound), Sunday, 27 November 2005 08:09 (sixteen years ago) link

ah, i saw them at the milky way in 1999, i think. cat's miaow that is.

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Sunday, 27 November 2005 08:10 (sixteen years ago) link

another life...

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Sunday, 27 November 2005 08:11 (sixteen years ago) link

to be honest i didn't like "the sound of changing places" very much, but i'd still be excited to hear another album.

fortunate hazel (f. hazel), Sunday, 27 November 2005 08:24 (sixteen years ago) link

thankyou! spacecadet. I think perhaps that isn't the one I remembered, but it is very nice. Toby may have it, I will dig around for "When I Was Howard Hughes" next.

Alex in Doncaster (Alex in Doncaster), Sunday, 27 November 2005 21:21 (sixteen years ago) link

revive! and a giant thank you to svend for sending me the first hydroplane cd. it's still utterly gorgeous after not hearing it for five years. i remembered "new monotonic fm" but i totally forgot about "wurlitzer jukebox" with the classic chorus as follows:

walking drunk home through the snow
christ i've never felt this cold
thank god i've got this coat
'cos i've never felt this cold

so perfect!

fortunate hazel (f. hazel), Sunday, 4 December 2005 09:10 (sixteen years ago) link

Be sure to track down the Indie Aid Abroad: A Little Help for East Timor compilation - it's pretty solid, and it has:

Hydroplane: "Grand Central" (remix) and "World Without You" (the latter is an alternate version, based on a "Louie Louie"-esque sample, and even better than the album version!)

The Cat's Miaow: "Neu Monotonic FM"

...plus related bands Pencil Tin, the Shapiros, and Huon.

Ernest P. (ernestp), Sunday, 4 December 2005 18:05 (sixteen years ago) link

still one of my favourite songs ever, this is hydroplane's version of "when i was howard hughes"


toby (tsg20), Friday, 9 December 2005 11:05 (sixteen years ago) link

while we're at it the b-side's amazing too:


toby (tsg20), Friday, 9 December 2005 11:07 (sixteen years ago) link

one year passes...

Wow - yet again I have been listening to one of those two Cat's Miaow compilations (36 tracks, probably only 45 minutes) - and how magnificent it is. How gentle and mysterious, how moving, how modest in its absurdly swift endings, how devastatingly true. 'Don't pretend I don't know / everything about you and me'. And those titles! 'What Time Is It There?', 'D'you Think It'll Snow Tonight?', they go on and on.

the pinefox, Saturday, 24 November 2007 18:17 (fourteen years ago) link

Oddly enough, I just pulled it out today too for the first time in...8 years maybe? They'll never be appreciated as much as they deserve.

Johnny Fever, Wednesday, 5 December 2007 17:18 (fourteen years ago) link

Wonderfully cryptic there on that last point. But I have a guess or two.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 23 March 2009 02:42 (thirteen years ago) link

there is an ilx connection of sorts

Bad, Bad Memories of a Good Time (electricsound), Monday, 23 March 2009 02:43 (thirteen years ago) link

ilx -> momus -> él records -> would-be-goods -> jessica griffin?

bigstatusbrothers (unregistered), Monday, 23 March 2009 02:52 (thirteen years ago) link

haha as nice as that would be, no

Bad, Bad Memories of a Good Time (electricsound), Monday, 23 March 2009 02:55 (thirteen years ago) link


bigstatusbrothers (unregistered), Monday, 23 March 2009 03:00 (thirteen years ago) link

one year passes...
two months pass...

I bought the new EP today and am enjoying it. Did he really not release anything for 10 yrs? Last thing I have is the "I Was Lonely" EP. Twee.net says there is also a 7 inch, but I have never seen that.

svend, Friday, 16 July 2010 03:05 (eleven years ago) link

the 7" was a blue vinyl thingy on clover records, also (like the new EP) features a pam berry guest appearance

i think it's safe to say the releases should become a little more frequent again now

the dolly doctor movement (electricsound), Friday, 16 July 2010 03:10 (eleven years ago) link

Ah thanks for that link.

svend, Friday, 16 July 2010 03:16 (eleven years ago) link

ten months pass...

another bart & friends ep is in the can - 'stories with the endings changed' featuring scott summer cats/earthmen singing on half the tracks. should be out within the next couple of months.

imagine arse (electricsound), Tuesday, 17 May 2011 00:01 (eleven years ago) link


Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 17 May 2011 00:11 (eleven years ago) link

three years pass...

Electricsound's picture made the SF paper.


svend, Thursday, 22 May 2014 21:36 (eight years ago) link

Dang, I hadn't realized they were over here!

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 22 May 2014 21:44 (eight years ago) link

oh dear. hope their shows go well though, bart certainly deserves more attention for these songs.

eat sock become sock (electricsound), Thursday, 22 May 2014 21:55 (eight years ago) link

I can't believe I am missing the show and I know I probably won't ever see him again. Their bill seems pretty good, lots of young shoegazers will go for the Bilinda Butchers. It is my wife's 40th that day and she still sort of complains about the Lucksmith's show I took her to :/.

svend, Friday, 23 May 2014 02:12 (seven years ago) link

um wow!! thanks for posting

brimstead, Friday, 23 May 2014 02:20 (seven years ago) link

If you guys didn't know, Bart and Pam Berry are doing Cat's Miaow and Shapiros songs at NYC popfest next weekend.

DonkeyTeeth, Friday, 23 May 2014 05:39 (seven years ago) link

five years pass...

I love this stuff so much

Evan, Friday, 14 June 2019 15:39 (two years ago) link

Classic. “Aurora”, “Hollow Inside”, “The Phoebe I Know”, “Firefly”...

brimstead, Saturday, 15 June 2019 19:06 (two years ago) link

one month passes...

So I've been binging this, also Clock Strikes Thirteen, early Clientele (as always) & The Relict. Any other extremely similar vibe artists out there I should be checking out?

Evan, Tuesday, 23 July 2019 20:36 (two years ago) link

Super Falling Star are in this wheelhouse!

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Tuesday, 23 July 2019 20:52 (two years ago) link

Thanks! I have to hear more. The first track I listened to was fantastic but not as ghostly(?) dreamlike sounding as all these bands are. Not sure exactly what the common thread is.

But they all make the experience of looking at old mundane photographs very melodramatic.

Evan, Friday, 2 August 2019 18:34 (two years ago) link

the ghostly Super Falling Star tracks aren't on Spotify or Youtube... you'll have to track down the 7"s

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Friday, 2 August 2019 19:01 (two years ago) link

(you want the Someday 7" and the split single with Fuxa)

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Friday, 2 August 2019 19:01 (two years ago) link

Do you know Screen Prints, Evan? Kind of a poppier, lofi clientele with budget baroque flourishes.

brimstead, Friday, 2 August 2019 21:27 (two years ago) link

and very moody but in a slight twee way like cats miaow

brimstead, Friday, 2 August 2019 21:28 (two years ago) link


they have stuff that’s more upbeat too

brimstead, Friday, 2 August 2019 23:41 (two years ago) link

No, never heard! Thank you

Evan, Saturday, 3 August 2019 04:27 (two years ago) link

some of Linda Smith's songs probably fit this vibe:

But Is She Happy


There's a ....

(all of her cassettes are free to download here

hoostanbank de reason lyrics mp4 hd video download (unregistered), Saturday, 3 August 2019 04:47 (two years ago) link

Bart & Friends and the Shapiros were mentioned here a decade ago, but perhaps not Pencil Tin. I notice that album is all on Youtube at present.


Selected Cannanes and Ashtray Boy (et al) tracks are not a million miles away, from the Bart-sung songs at least.

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Saturday, 3 August 2019 05:30 (two years ago) link

one year passes...

Anyone know of anyone willing to sell their Hydroplane/Cat's Miaow collection? The former weirdly hard to come by despite the general discogs going rate remaining pretty low. Like they all got snatched up for cheap and that's that.

Evan, Friday, 11 September 2020 03:36 (one year ago) link

probably scarce because I'm not sure more than 200-300 copies were pressed up

avellano medio inglés (f. hazel), Friday, 11 September 2020 03:49 (one year ago) link

Not sure if they're quite that scarce across the board... hopefully not the case for the majority!

Evan, Friday, 11 September 2020 03:53 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

just saw that bart & friends put something out last year… https://www.discogs.com/release/18017359-Bart-Friends-Tolmie-Wild-Thymes

did anyone hear it?

just sayin, Wednesday, 9 February 2022 07:24 (three months ago) link

No I’ve had it on my want list though!

Evan, Wednesday, 9 February 2022 11:57 (three months ago) link

two months pass...

Hydroplane S/T gets a (first ever) vinyl reissue!


Evan, Thursday, 28 April 2022 02:02 (three weeks ago) link

It's weird how little Hydroplane I've actually heard given that those Cat's Miaow compilations never get old for me. Probably time to round up them there FLACs.

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Thursday, 28 April 2022 04:47 (three weeks ago) link

there's a compilation and another lp also available on bandcamp

koogs, Thursday, 28 April 2022 08:40 (three weeks ago) link

Two compilations!

Evan, Thursday, 28 April 2022 12:13 (three weeks ago) link

Very handy, those are going in my cart for sure. Still have my Drive-In CD version of the self-titled all this time (but realized I should give it an upgraded rip, which I'm doing right now.)

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 28 April 2022 16:12 (three weeks ago) link

That CD is hard to find. I’m really grateful for this reissue. The rarities compilation is very appreciated as well.

Evan, Thursday, 28 April 2022 17:39 (three weeks ago) link

some kind ILXor (svend) sent me their copy many years ago for free because mine had cracked in half!

I've got all the singles and EPs, but I'm buying all the stuff they have available on bandcamp anyway just 'cos I want 'em to feel loved.

Jaime Pressly and America (f. hazel), Thursday, 28 April 2022 18:40 (three weeks ago) link



Songs ’94-’98 is a smart selection of material from The Cat’s Miaow, an Australian indie-pop group that gifted their decade with some of its finest songs. Released on World Of Echo, the album draws from the group’s string of excellent seven-inch singles, a small clutch of compilation contributions, and features one previously unreleased song, “I Take It That We’re Through”, recorded in 1998. Part of the burgeoning international pop underground of the nineties, The Cat’s Miaow’s legend has only built over subsequent decades, as more people discover this most quixotic and curious of groups: a recent appearance on A Colourful Storm’s compilation of Australian indie-pop, I Won’t Have To Think About You, is testament to their enduring influence. In part emulating the selection of tracks on the 1997 CD-only compilation, Songs For Girls To Sing, Songs ’94-’98 is also the group’s first ever full-length 12” vinyl collection – and if you score a copy of the initial edition, there’s an extra 7” featuring all the songs from their “Third Floor Fire Escape View” recording session

Evan, Wednesday, 11 May 2022 21:17 (one week ago) link

you can really hear the g500 from the first bar of that sample track

i think i must have at least some of this, probably in that box of 7"s i haven't even opened for 15 years

koogs, Wednesday, 11 May 2022 21:26 (one week ago) link

I'll take the whole box off your hands if that is any indication of the type of other stuff inside.

Evan, Thursday, 12 May 2022 02:32 (one week ago) link

this is the only thing i recognise on discos


koogs, Thursday, 12 May 2022 04:08 (one week ago) link


koogs, Thursday, 12 May 2022 04:09 (one week ago) link

A good one! Love the Shapiros track.

Evan, Thursday, 12 May 2022 10:29 (one week ago) link

bought specifically for the Singing Bush (Even As We Speak) track

koogs, Thursday, 12 May 2022 13:51 (one week ago) link

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