I’m signing off, I think I’ve had enough for a while
This somber opening line floats over a humming guitar and sets the tone for Tomlinson’s new single Damage Control. The single release comes almost a full year post its origin and is anthemic and karmic in its retrospection.
Damage Control is a ballad through and through, but maintains Cate’s signature wit and grit while working through difficult experiences. It tells a story of doing what you need to maintain your autonomy and sense of self through burnout. When listening, you can hear Cate piece together the puzzle of her emotional and physical reality while rebuilding herself.
The lyrics are intricately woven–each line hangs in the air between tension and awe. It is clear that every word is intentionally placed and executed. The internal rhymes are breathtaking, and the use of color in Tomlinson’s lyrics creates a clear motif that weaves together the emotional and physical realms.
Perhaps her best songwriting yet, Tomlinson builds on her pop-rock sound and shows her skill as an artist in this power ballad that establishes her as a songwriter to be reckoned with.
About Damage Control:
“I had a rough end to my 3rd year of college and I was really burned out. When I went home to California for the summer, I kind of went off the radar. I didn’t really see anyone, I stopped responding to people that weren’t my closest friends, and I was just spending time with my family and writing a lot. It took me a couple months to repair myself, and while I was doing that I wrote Damage Control. For me, it’s one of those songs that reminded me why I love songwriting so much. It fulfilled me in a way that no friend or relationship or material thing could have at the time. It acknowledges a shitty experience but the point is that I’m gonna bounce back. So it’s not a pity song. Haha.
The last two lines, “oh cause I’m shades of navy and you got away unabused, I still get angry my instincts betrayed me to you,” took me forever to settle on and are probably my favorite because of how they fit together. I used the color blue as a theme throughout the song because bruises are blue and I like using blue to intertwine the emotional and physical. It feels graphic and raw to me. Which is what this experience felt like. It’s a gross feeling when you are so sure about something or someone and they go above and beyond to prove you horribly wrong.” - Cate Tomlinson
Cate Tomlinson is a 22-year-old singer, songwriter, and performing artist from Palo Alto, California. Her music draws from pop, soul, and rock. The young self-made artist is now based out of Boston and is working to develop her unique voice as an artist at Northeastern University.
Cate is set to release her second EP in the summer of 2023. It is her first body of work with producers Fil Thorpe (Neck Deep, Worlds First Cinema) and John Sinclair (World’s First Cinema, Macklemore).
Cate spent her last summer writing and performing in the greater Los Angeles area, gracing the stage at Hotel Cafe, Breaking Sound, and indie festival NextFest LA. She has been praised by the likes of Rising Artists, Right Chord Music, Kings of A&R, Glasse Factory, Blurred Culture, and Spotify’s Fresh Finds playlist.
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Press Release by Hannah Schneider x Unheard Gems