The Radio Hour Present ‘With the Rhythm of a Catfight (Alternate)’

“With the Rhythm of a Catfight” begins quietly with a chiming electric guitar part over a snare drum. Tim Hort sings these words lightly, even though they carry a whole lot of weight. When he sings “I do love you” at one point, it makes this into a love song of sorts – even though it has a foreboding feeling to it. It nevertheless leaves a lasting impression upon the listener.

Tim Hort, who bases himself in Chicago, is a studio musician. He’s also professionally trained as a singer and guitarist. In addition to his studio work, Hort has also toured with other artists in various capacities. He’s recorded albums and even scored theater works. He can pretty much do it all.

With The Radio Hour, however, he takes the role of a singer/songwriter. The song is a guitar-backed piece, backed by a relatively simple guitar part. Although the song runs to a driving rhythm, it never gets too loud. Instead, it’s like a slow burning cinematic exercise that feels like it’s going to explode at any moment, but never does. Instead, it creates a tension that never completely dissipates.

Along with the tense atmosphere it creates, there is a beauty to this song’s instrumentation and vocal. Hort is a fine singer, and the electric guitar riff that leads to the track’s outro is a lovely thing.

The song’s title is a bit of a conundrum, one supposes. After all, if you’ve ever heard a catfight at night, you well know how there’s nothing especially rhythmic about these nocturnal encounters. Rather, these are wild, noisy, even scary sounds. These are felines guarding their neighborhood territory, for whatever that’s worth. To them, it probably means everything. To humans in bed just trying to get a little shuteye, it represents lost sleep.

When applying this reference to fighting cats, it suggests a relationship with, really, no natural rhythm at all. Could it describe a partnering that just hasn’t found its comfortable groove yet? Might this be a tense face-off, where troubles keep these two from sleeping soundly at night? Maybe yes, maybe no. Whatever the case, the song’s pretty parts are like a flower struggling to grow up out of a crack in the concrete. There is something truly good at the heart of this song, but with ugly surrounding factors attempting to shade it out, it seems.


This song won’t give you the warm and fuzzies. It’s not meant to do that. It’s intended, instead, to document the constant battle between personal trials and beauty. Only one, one imagines, can emerge victorious. This is what makes the song so good and memorable. It’s poetic and heartfelt, and not your typical simplistic love song. It’s, instead, a love song set in reality. A world where there is as much (if not more) concrete as there are flowers. Only the strong flowers survive in this atmosphere. Tension is created, fur flies, and the outcome is always up for grabs in this musical creation.

-Dan MacIntosh