Have you ever listened to a song that just shuts your brain up and pulls you back into another time in your life? PHFAT’s latest heartbreaker “Catherine” does just that.
PHFAT stepped back into the ring with “Catherine”, his new single and video, showing off a new-found versatility and refinement ahead of his EP dropping in July.
Co-written alongside underground pop wunderkind Omri Dahan over the course of 2018, PHFAT enlisted the help of eight Stellenbosch music students to form a makeshift choir that provides the anthemic, church-like chorus that spearheads this song.
“I think a lot of people say that they were trying to write something different,” Mike Zietsman explains when asked about his thought process behind the writing of “Catherine”.
“Not us, we were writing a heartbreak song and we wanted it to be SO heart break. We were like… how do we make people fucking cry while they listen to this. The purpose of the song was straight up to induce the feelings that come with the necessary separation from someone you REALLY care about.”
This video, conceptualised and directed by the lauded Rob Smith (“Keep You Safe”, “Suedes”) includes some very technical handiwork from Kirk Morgan and Rory Allen. It also features PHFAT’s real life girlfriend Emma Ellis Brown, with each of their scenes shot in only one take.
Filming proved almost as emotionally taxing as the song itself, owing to the fact that they both knew while shooting that Emma is leaving for an extended period of time to work overseas. A legitimate sadness radiates off both of them.
“If anything ‘Catherine’ is a statement that I make the songs I feel like I have to. No matter what. The fear of being rejected by your audience is how you grow stale; How you end up getting dumped by your audience, so to speak,” Zietsman states honestly.
As for who the titular protagonist in the real heartbreak song is, PHFAT is not naming names, but simply laughs and declares: “Wouldn’t you like to know?”