Photo: Caity Krone

Cate – One Hit Wonder

Cate's "One Hit Wonder" is a nod to an early 2000's classic

The light acoustic guitar strumming in Cate’s new song “One Hit Wonder” may sound familiar to a generation or two, and for good reason. Despite a decade and a half of hits, Miley Cyrus’ “7 Things,” a treasured gem from the summer of 2008, is still a fan favorite amongst her long-time base. Cate, a Canadian-born and UK-based singer-songwriter, cites Hannah Montana as one of her childhood heroes, making the connection clear. Montana’s more well-known tracks were a bit more bubblegum pop than singer-songwriter fare, but she was certainly no stranger to a more stripped-back tune.

An inside joke with friends about her relationship at the time led to the creation of “One Hit Wonder,” a country-leaning track with light elements of pop production. “I wrote ‘One Hit Wonder’ with my friends last summer after making a joke that a man I was dating was one,” said Cate in a statement. “Then the joke went a bit too far when we wrote a whole out of a whole bunch of one-hit wonders.”

One hit wonders referenced in the track include Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know” and Fountains of Wayne’s “Stacy’s Mom,”: “He said that Stacy’s mom has got it going on / That’s when I knew that there was something wrong / I guess he moved on, there’s no doubt.”

Despite its origins as a joke among friends, “One Hit Wonder” is an introspective lyric that is less Miley Cyrus and more Taylor Swift. The chorus, well-written and reflective in nature, would have fit on Swift’s Fearless record: “He’s just a one hit wonder / He’s only gonna give you one hot summer / Then he’ll be gone and you’ll be glad to wonder why you’re still singin’ his song.”

Vocally, Cate’s texture is similar to that of Tenille Townes and Maddie & Tae. While she rides the wave of more synth-pop-oriented production on a song like “Girlfriend,” her texture remains insular and delicate on that track as well as “Groupie,” her most popular numbers-wise. Despite the fragility of her tone, she is, undoubtedly, a storyteller whose songs will take the listener back to a love of their own that, like the summer, slipped away like a bottle of wine.

After an opening act run for Maisie Peters earlier this year, Cate will open for Gretta Ray across Australia this month before embarking on a solo trek of the UK.

Stream “One Hit Wonder” :