theCatherines – How Come You Think Everybody Likes You?

by | Aug 23, 2018 | Song of the Day

As this century careens toward the close of its second decade, we find ourselves existing in an existential wonderland of constant connectivity, wired together by wireless devices that afford us ample opportunities for seeking and receiving the external validation that has fueled human progress since the day Thag Jones killed a saber-toothed tiger then drew a picture of it on the wall of his cave and invited his friends to come by and scratch little heart shapes into the rock below his drawing. Many millenniums later, whenever I feel unloved I just post a photo of my cat on Instagram then sit back and watch the Likes roll in like Hurricane Harvey on an August afternoon. I pity the pre-smartphone dark ages, when popularity was speculative, a subject of argument in which, without a computer-counted and digitally-displayed number of Friends, Followers, Connections, Likes, and Upvotes to back your claim of acclaim, one might be asked, “How Come You Think Everybody Likes You?”

theCatherines inquire of our perception by the world at large with wonderfully jangly guitars and understated harmonies. The retro twee vibe is strong in this one, pure pop but with an unfinished bit of fuzz around the edges. As sweet as the sound is, theCatherines manage to slip in a lyric that made me LOL and would have earned a Like if an outline of a heart was available on Bandcamp:

Yeah I totally despise you my dear!

I suppose the exclamation point transforms the line from an insult into a wry wink, with the rules of interaction now edited by Elaine Benes and not Jake Jarmel, as Hello!¬†means “Hi” and the unexclaimed Hello means “No soup for you!”

As the two regular readers of my blog know (Hi, Diann! Hi, Fluffy!), the paragraph following the Bandcamp thingy is reserved for the Obscure Reference. I won’t have to search through my entire iTunes library tonight, divining for that song with the melody that sounds like a snatch of the song of the day’s second line, because theCatherines were kind enough to supply their own Obscure Reference: “Initial idea was to rip off first bar of ‘Velocity Girl’ [Primal Scream] and then to proceed to the crazy guitar work of ‘Have I the Right’ [The Honeycombs] ūüėÄ add some fuzz and jangle and angelic voices and there you are!” Thanks, folks, but I’m not sure this is obscure enough for my two discerning readers. So I’ll add that theCatherines bring to mind Golden Teardrops and NAH…, a pair of duos with releases available from Emma’s House Records.

theCatherines are¬†Heiko Schneider (music, words, playing, and singing) and Sandra Ost (singing). They describe themselves as a “studio project from Hamburg, Germany, with one simple dogma: every song-recording should take no longer than one (sometimes two :-0) evening(s) of joy, wine and cigs… ;-).” Sounds like an air-tight business plan. “How Come You Think Everybody Likes You?” is¬† theCatherines’ third single following “I Was Struggling with Your Magic Biscuit Tin (TheNearPerfectPitch‚Äč-‚ÄčIncident)” and “Every Time You Say It’s Okay I Know it is Okay,” which Fluffy reviewed in June. There is no truth to the rumor that theCatherines’ next song title will be the entirety of War and Peace.

You can support deserving independent musicians like theCatherines by visiting their Bandcamp page, listening to their songs, and downloading your favorite tracks. And be sure to follow theCatherines on Facebook and Instagram.

Charles Norman is a writer and historian. Email: Or follow on Instagram and Facebook.

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