The overwhelming theme of Alpha Cat’s “Venus Smile… Retrograde” is about how it is a broken heart that shows you what you’re made of. It is also a reflection of Elizabeth McCullough’s observation that the world has become too divided, too extreme, and also an overwhelming exhaustion that seeks, particularly in the song “Orbit (Rx)” a hopeful resolution and reconnection of these separations, and ultimately, hopefully, redemption.

This record’s musicians include: Elizabeth McCullough, singer, songwriter and acoustic guitar, geniuses guitarist Doug Pettibone (Lucinda Williams, John Mayer) and bassist Reggie McBride (From Stevie Wonder and Parliament Funkadelic, to Elton John,) the brilliant drummer Jason Harrison Smith, Manuel Quintana on percussion, Jane Scarpantoni on cello (REM, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, etc.) and Murphy Bug on backing vocals and additional guitar and bass.