Emerging impressively from the worst of Victoria’s lockdown with not one, but two captivating music videos is Victorian based Catalina (aka. Outtatime). At 20-years-old, the coastal jazz-soul singer has introduced herself to the local scene with singles, ‘My Love’ and ‘Moments’; the latter of which has been released on a compilation album by Melbourne-based record label Cousin Will Records alongside other dreamy local acts like Velvet Bloom and The Grogans. Landing somewhere in the realm of ambient jazz and alternative pop, these Outtatime tunes establish Catalina as an intriguing emerging artist with impressive range. From deliciously breathy piano driven Sade-esque moments on ‘My Love, to the melancholic textural electric guitar world of Lana Del Ray in ‘Moments’, Outtatime invites us into her dreamy world.
The ‘My Love’ music video delves into a dazzling 1960s Hollywood filmscape of black and white; typewriters and letters. Catalina sits at a desk under a dramatic ceiling light (domesticity parading as theatrics) and the shaky retro title overlays her typewriter to the introductory solemn piano instrumental. There’s something surprisingly comedic about the following moments, as Catalina’s vocals enter with melancholic oo’s and our leading lady flicks through what could only be recognised as a pre-valentines newspaper, disgusted by the romance of it all.
Here, the chorus hook begins, “My love, we’ve got, all the time in the world.” It’s heavy and thick like warmed chocolate as the video establishes its premise; the answering of a newspaper ad and the beginning of a letter-driven love affair.
A slow groove enters on drums, mimicking not only the clicking typewriter but the drive towards new love. This Outtatime track realises Catalina a notable writer; her sense of lyrical rhythm in the verses is understatedly clever. In the first verse, Catalina’s mellow vocals tell the universal story of new lovers, hanging on the edge of every kiss. ‘My Love’ rifles up memories of longing to spend every moment with that person; “Every time I’ve gots to go, the aching hits my- heart.”
The back and forth of love letters tell this familiar story of a naive unfurling of oneself onto another in a somewhat new and thrillingly theatrical way. This reciprocation of emotional intimacy is established through the lens of an old-timey lettered-love affair. The yearning to experience that love in person is defined by the moment Catalina jumps in her dad’s 73’ Buick and kitschy projections cascade into the distance behind the vehicle, which propels towards said lover.
Then, the music drops and her chorus is not sung but spoken, timidly. She is taking a leap of faith. Momentarily, the poignant and previously certain hook is questioned and vulnerability appears.
Contrastingly to the narrative glitz of the ‘My Love’ clip, the visuals for Outtatime’s ‘Moments’ is dedicated more to a stunning encompassing of regional Victoria’s picturesque coastlines. Aerial shots of winding coastal roads and shorelines are accompanied by ethereal guitar licks. In ‘Moments’, Catalina’s deep, warm vocals tell the ever-so familiar story of an early 20s identity crisis; “I’ve stolen all that I am from people who are cooler.” This painfully relatable lyricism sits modest in the mix, melding into both the musical and visual space in the track. And it is deliciously spacious.
Catalina appears strumming an acoustic at sunset, drenched in a rich red light and admitting intimate doubts of self, “I see my reflection, but it doesn’t really look like me.” Dreamy, open shots are overlaid atop one-another and are a sight to behold for any Melbournian that’s been tortured by the same four walls all year.
‘Moments’ is full of long-winding melodies and breathy vocals. There is soothing freeness to both the sounds and the visuals. “All these moments don’t seem real”, Catalina repeats the hook, “all these things I don’t know how to feel.” It is a long awaited cathartic release; an admission and giving in of oneself to the hazy blur that is one’s young adulthood. With Outtatime’s permission, we relax into this comfortable unknowing.