Something Ilk

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Something Ilk
Cathy Davey Something Ilk cover.jpg
Studio album by Cathy Davey
Released 20 August 2004 (Ireland)
23 August 2004 (UK)
Recorded Summer 2003 (Wales)
Label EMI Ireland
Producer Ben Hillier
Cathy Davey chronology
Something Ilk
Tales of Silversleeve
(2007)Tales of Silversleeve2007

Something Ilk is the debut album of Irish songstress Cathy Davey. It was released in 2004. The release date for Ireland was 20 August 2004, whilst the release date for the United Kingdom was 23 August 2004.

The album received a largely positive reaction in the Irish media. Davey later expressed her unhappiness with the album and the pressures which the record company had placed upon her.

Background and recording[edit]

After four performances in Dublin, Davey went to the countryside and commenced writing the songs which would later feature on her debut album. Davey and her band recorded Something Ilk at a studio in Wales.[1] The studio was named Rockfield Studio. Much of the recording was done during a heat wave which occurred in the summer of 2003. They remained at the studio in Wales for a period of approximately seven weeks. The recording process included sitting down in circles to make sounds and swinging doors open and shut again to create sounds. Something Ilk was produced by Ben Hillier who had previously worked with Blur and Elbow.[2] Something Ilk was then released in 2004.[3]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Hot Press (positive)[4]
RTÉ Entertainment (3/5)[5]

Public service broadcaster Raidió Teilifís Éireann's reviewer Harry Guerin said Something Ilk was "high on presence and very low on filler" and gave it three out of five stars.[2]

Hot Press remarked, "Not only is her voice elfin, immediate and distinct the songs are also hugely compelling. They are digestible without being lightweight, austere in places without seeming detached".[6]

The Irish Independent's Paul Byrne described Something Ilk as "one of the best Irish albums of 2004".[1]

The BBC's reviewer Sarah Cohen gave Something Ilk four out of five circles.[7] BBC Manchester was less pleased and left negative comments which compared the sound of the album to Cerys Matthews and Polly Jean Harvey.[8]

Davey's reaction[edit]

Cathy Davey later expressed her unhappiness with Something Ilk, saying dismissively, "I think the record company [EMI's Regal Recordings] thought I was an indie rock chick when they signed me and that album is very much other people's idea of what I should sound like. [...] I didn't have the confidence to say no to some of the things [Ben Hillier] suggested".[9] Davey claimed not to "know my arse from my elbow when I signed for them" and "despised" performing those songs in a live arena.[9] Despite this, the Irish Independent described her as "very talented—far more so than [Gemma] Hayes" but regretted that she had "failed to find an audience for her fine debut Something Ilk".[10]

Track listing[edit]


All tracks written by Cathy Davey.

No. Title Length
1. "Come Over" 3:29
2. "Trade Secret" 4:46
3. "Cold Man's Nightmare" 3:39
4. "Clean and Neat" 2:55
5. "Hammer Head" 4:32
6. "Old Man Rain" 2:39
7. "Swing It" 4:07
8. "Yak Yak" 3:19
9. "Go Make It" 4:18
10. "Sugar" 5:53
11. "Holy Moly" 5:08
12. "Save Button" 3:45
13. "About Time" 4:12
14. "Mine for Keeps" (includes hidden track "Honk") 8:53


  1. ^ a b Paul Byrne (2007-06-25). "Cathy's no wallflower". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2009-11-13. 
  2. ^ a b Harry Guerin (2004-08-19). "Cathy Davey – Something Ilk". RTÉ. Retrieved 2009-11-13. 
  3. ^ "Cathy Davey announces live dates". Hot Press. 2004-08-20. Retrieved 2009-11-15. Cathy Davey introduces the world to her rather fab Something Ilk album when she descends on Cypress Avenue, Cork (September 16); Dolan's, Limerick (17); Roisin Dubh, Galway (18); and Temple Bar Music Centre, Dublin (19). Having come to prominence as one of the featured vocalists on Autamata's My Sanctuary album, Davey signed last year to EMI Virgin and is receiving widespread media coverage cross-channel. 
  4. ^ Hot Press review
  5. ^ RTÉ Entertainment review
  6. ^ "Something Ilk". Hot Press. 2004-08-03. Retrieved 2009-11-13. Listening to her debut, it’s easy to see why the gamine Davey caused such frenzied consternation in A&R circles upon her signing to EMI. Not only is her voice elfin, immediate and distinct the songs are also hugely compelling. They are digestible without being lightweight, austere in places without seeming detached. ‘Clean & Neat’ beats with its own distinctive pulse, while ‘Hammerhead’ and ‘Go Make It’ are particularly soft and touching. Like a slightly less cutesy Nina Hynes, or a less visceral PJ Harvey, Davey’s music is unashamedly sexy, almost precocious in places, but still retains a stamp of class. 
  7. ^ Sarah Cohen (2004-08-20). "Don't call her a singer/songwriter". BBC. Retrieved 2010-01-07. 
  8. ^ "Cathy Davey - Something Ilk". BBC. 2004-08-19. Retrieved 2010-01-07. 
  9. ^ a b John Meagher (2007-11-05). "Q&A: Cathy Davey". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2009-11-13. 
  10. ^ "So much music, so little talent". Irish Independent. 2005-08-25. Retrieved 2009-11-13. 

External links[edit]