Friday, July 12, 2024

New Music Monday: racecar releases multi-instrumental chart-topping EP, ‘was it a cat i saw?’


Victoria and Vancouver Island have a lot of musical talent, and Victoria Buzz wants to highlight some of the best and brightest local artists and bands.

Every Monday, there will be a fresh ‘New Music Monday’ article to help people find and support local artists and bands that are up-and-coming, well established or hidden gems!

For this endeavour, Victoria Buzz has partnered with our good friends at CFUV 101.9 FM, UVic’s campus radio station, to find and select the musicians and bands for this regular column.

This week, racecar is the New Music Monday highlight!

racecar are a group of extremely talented musicians who played in Pastel Blank, a former-juggernaut of Victoria’s music scene. 

The band is comprised of Eric Kilian, Luvy Vishek and Hanum. 

All three of these members play a myriad of instruments, including cello, drums, keys, glockenspiel and percussion as well as vocals. 

Pastel Blank is primarily the solo project of Angus Watt, who now lives in Montreal, but while playing together in that and while Watt was still in Victoria, Kilian Vishek and Hanum found they worked really well together. 

“We were like, ‘oh we all really like playing music together and maybe we should try writing some stuff together and doing something different,’ and that’s how racecar sort of started,” Kilian told Victoria Buzz. 

He said that during their first couple jams, they began with writing some guitar-centric, slow, emo and droney songs. 

They built off of that and began each writing to contribute to the project and figuring out how to add layers to the songs in order to make their sound more vast. They did this with the help of their producer and honourary fourth member of racecar, Oliver Hollingshead.

“We recorded that stuff in the spring of 2023 and the rest is history,” Vishek laughed. 

The result of their efforts was their four-song EP, was it a cat i saw?, which was released on March 15th.

The way they wrote the record was each member wrote one song and they all collaborated on the fourth, with each one coming from a different source of inspiration. 

“‘Laura’, the first one was the one I wrote most of,” Vishek explained. 

She says this song, which was the EP’s first single, was primarily influenced by bands like Yo La Tengo and Mojave 3.

Kilian added that Vichek loves playing bass chords and that was another leading notion in the writing of “Laura”. 

Vishek and Kilian then told Victoria Buzz that the song “Alice” came to Hanum in a dream, “Blue” was a song written as a love letter to the band Beach House and lastly, “There You Are” was a song that the three collaborated on in the writing process and it was heavily influenced by Radiohead and Portishead. 

When asked to highlight a song from the EP, racecar chose “There You Are”. 

“Unfortunately the lyrics mean nothing,” Vishek laughed. 

“I wanted something to sound like I was hardly even saying words and I guess, like a spooky vibe, but there is no story behind what I’m saying.”

She says the lyrics came to her as they were driving to a Pastel Blank show and she imagined a dark hallway and seeing someone at the end of it. 

Despite the lack of meaning in the lyrics, the song is thoughtfully put together and allows the band to explore lots of different sounds and elements with Hollingshead’s guidance in the studio. 

“It started with the keyboard part that opens the song, [which] was something that I wrote,” Kilian explained. 

“We kind of just jammed it after I sent it out in the group chat.”

He added that it didn’t go anywhere for a while, but then Hanum had the vision for it to have a really slow part to it which would lead into a really fast break-beat. 

From there Vichek came up with a complimentary and haunting keyboard part which would complement her lyrics. 

Then Kilian decided he wanted to layer some cello into the song’s mix. Vishek and Kilian both laughed at the fact that the cello sets this song apart and makes it unique but Vishek was asleep in the studio for the entirety of the cello session.

Kilian and Vishek both couldn’t contain their laughter while explaining that the way the cello was recorded was inspired by the water level of Donkey Kong. 

“It’s one of the all time video game bangers,” Kilian laughed. 

Preview was it a cat i saw? Below:

To hear was it a cat i saw? in full, find it on Bandcamp, Spotify and Apple Music

racecar say they have yet to play a show yet since their inception, mostly because they all play so many different instruments on each track, it would be a hard sound to replicate live. 

“It’s one of those things, when you get three multi-instrumentalists in a room and just go off, we didn’t record anything with the idea of playing it live,” Kilian explained. 

In addition to this, Hanum is currently out of the country and plans on moving in July; however, they have his permission to continue the project after he leaves and they also have more songs recorded they plan on releasing before the end of summer. 

“We’re just figuring out and working on a stage show—what it would look like,” he added. 

They currently have no plans of playing a show in town on their horizon but they are not going to rule out the possibility of playing live.


CFUV is a non-profit campus and community radio station that plays a ton of local music of all kinds across Vancouver Island. If you like to support local music they are an amazing resource with a plethora of new local tunes in their arsenal. 

“CFUV is so incredibly supportive and important for the music scene in Victoria,” said Kilian. 

“You’re really screaming into the void as a small-time, local musician these days with so much music out there and I think having an organization like CFUV out there listening and actually caring and helping to organize things… I don’t know what we’d do without them.”

Tune into CFUV 101.9 FM on air or online!

Let us know what you think of racecar in the comments below.

Curtis Blandy

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