Known for their uncanny ability to craft original tunes while borrowing from the golden age of rock ’n’ roll, Fractal Cat is a breed unto themselves. Combining sounds like country, soul, and psychedelia with mystical and socially conscious lyrics, this five-piece can’t sit still in a genre. Which gets audiences pretty excited too.
A staple of Baltimore music, the band has performed at Light City, Stoop Storytelling Series, Friends of Patterson Park concerts, and have made regular appearances at WTMD studios, including that station’s first-ever album release party. Baltimore Magazine called Fractal Cat one of 50 artists to know in 2018, and the Frederick News-Post named their song “Streets Are Burning” Local Song of the Year in 2017. The Tower, the band’s third album of all-original material, debuted at #14 on the Relix/Jambands.com radio chart in July 2017. That same month, Fractal cat hosted a sold-out Summer of Love 50th anniversary concert at Baltimore's Creative Alliance. In 2016, Fractal Cat was featured in the “Maryland Music” documentary presented by Maryland Public Television, and in 2014, it's single "Tryptide" made WTMD's top 14 Baltimore songs of the year. The group and its side projects have shared the stage with acts of all stripes, including Matisyahu, Trevor Hall, Dan Deacon, The Mantras, People’s Blues of Richmond, Cris Jacobs Band, the Rumpke Mountain Boys, and many more. In fall 2018, the band re-released The Tower through renowned international distributor The Orchard, and embarked on an eastern U.S. tour.
Catch Fractal Cat on a stage near you...and freak out in a good way.
Miles Gannett: vocals, electric guitar, songwriting, production
Keith Jones: vocals, acoustic guitar, songwriting
Eric Selby: drums, percussion
Sean P. Finn: French horn, violin, cornet, electronics
Joe Martone; Christopher Brown: bass
Kim Gravatt: flute, sax, vocals
Shelly Work: vocals
The Eye in the Dawn
On the eve of Halloween 2012, the band released its first album, The Eye in the Dawn, a collection of songs that Baltimore singer/songwriter Miles Gannett had been accumulating since his teens. According to Miles, the album was “inspired by the psychedelic experience and a journey of spiritual awakening.” Featuring the jazz/Afro beat–influenced drumming of Jason Baker, the electronic sound–wizardry of Joe Clark, the acoustic rhythm guitar of Keith Jones, the dubbed-out bass of Andy Myatt, and Miles’s lysergic lead guitar and production, Eye revealed a band paying its debts to the psychedelic rock canon while envisioning a new path forward.
Several Baltimore musicians also contributed their talents, including Chris Mandra of Telesma, Tiffany DeFoe of The Bellevederes, and Sean Finn of Great Mutant Skywheel and Sahffi.
Inside World Music hailed the debut album, describing the single “Some Angel” as “one of the best songs composed in any genre or era—bar none.” What Weekly magazine added that “if you enjoy fearlessness, tunefulness, and joy, this is the record for you.”
In July 2014, Fractal Cat released Lovingkind, the epic follow-up to The Eye in the Dawn. The album represents a leap forward in songwriting and production, blending elements of folk-rock and electronica with the band’s positive, playful lyrics.
Guest musicians abound. Subtle Hustle’s Kim Gravatt contributed ethereal flute, Rufus Roundtree and the B-More Brass Factory added a soulful, “Balti-Gras” vibe, and Joe Clark overlaid synths and samples.
The video for the first single, “As You Fly,” turned heads with its remote-controlled drone camera, and the album track “Tryptide” became a favorite of WTMD Radio, receiving steady play in the Baltimore area. The Frederick News-Post called Lovingkind a “fantastic showcase for a fantastic band” and Appalachian Jamwich applauded the “distinctly late Beatles-esque flavor with [its] very own twist of psychedelic juice.
The band recently completed The Tower, its third album of all-original material. Inspired by the Tarot card of the same name, this collection of songs speaks to such urgent matters as political oppression, police-community relations, and religious tolerance. Baltimore Magazine praised the “urgent calls to trust your intuition, spread love, and give peace a chance” and the Baltimore Sun likened the album to “the old, like the Beatles and other British Invaders from the 1960s, and the new, like My Morning Jacket.” Fractal Cat continues to expand its fan base, sharing its catchy tunes and universal lyrics with people of all ages.
The Cats' Stripes
Miles Gannett began playing guitar and writing songs at the age of seven. He crafted his early tunes in the style and spirit of 1950’s rock 'n’ roll, initially inspired by the movies La Bamba and The Buddy Holly Story. As a teenager, Miles produced strange electronic music and started writing psychedelic songs with mystical themes. In his early twenties he played electric egg slicer, shortwave radio, and spoon-guitar in the Krautrock-influenced experimental band Zeug, and was also the original lead guitarist for Baltimore world fusion powerhouse Telesma. Feeling called to pursue his own songwriting, Miles formed Fractal Cat in late 2011 while recording The Eye in the Dawn on his own in a home studio. The songwriter had released several singles before rounding up “a group of friends” to finish the album and form a band that could reproduce the rich studio sounds onstage.
Keith Jones used to take for granted that he had a distant cousin named Patsy Cline. Not wanting to disappoint (or perhaps wanting to) he accrued binders of teenaged poetry during the late nineties and opened his mouth. His musical journey began in coffeeshops on the streets of Shepherdstown, WV, where he merged his love of golden oldies and grunge with acoustic guitar, culminating in a 1999 split album with NC musician Bert Wray. Shortly after, Keith took a sharp detour to cofound experimental rock band Pläns Pläns in rural Eastern Maryland. That band released two albums during its eight-year career. In 2010, Keith found his inner cat sharing vocals and songwriting with Miles Gannett in Fractal Cat.
Sean P. Finn is a Baltimore, MD and Washington, DC–based performer and recording engineer. His musical beginnings involved a debut violin performance on Chicago’s Orchestra Hall stage at age 4. Later branching out to French horn, cornet, keyboards, concertina, ukulele, and bass, Sean received multiple degrees from the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University. Influences include Peter Gabriel, Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, Jaco Pastorius, Tony Levin, Igor Stravinski, Homer, Quentin Tarantino, Hugh Hefner, and Plato. His cat personality most resembles the ocelot: nocturnal, solitary, and territorial.
Starting on drums at nine years old, Eric Selby has played music most of his life. As a much-sought-after producer/drummer/percussionist, Eric’s career has spanned the full spectrum of musical genres and has included performances with many talented artists, including: Billy Thompson, Ron Holloway, Daryl Johnson, James East, Warner Williams, Drink Small, Bill Payne, Lenny Castro, James “Hutch” Hutchinson, and Mike Finnigan, to name a few. Eric has been the recipient of Blue411’s Drum Thumper “Jimi” Award, nominated for multiple WAMMIE awards, inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame, #1 on Blues411’s charts multiple times, and featured in Modern Drummer for his approach and perspective in their “Drummer Blogs.”