Test Card Girl is a solo project by Manchester singer/songwriter Catherine (Caffs) Burgis. Having spent many hours listening to other people play and sing, Catherine decided to swap the pint glass for the guitar in early 2019 (or at least hold both concurrently) and set off on a songwriting journey into all corners of her mind, simultaneously also becoming a stand up comedian and touring the country with a novelty miniature keyboard. Some would call it a cry for help, but, aged 35, she'd had more than enough of an admin-based existence.
Having won and been a finalist in a number of national comedy competitions, Catherine decided to focus solely on music in 2020 and build up more live experience, a decision which immediately co-incided with the dawn of a global pandemic.
Caffs's music ranges from lo-fi bedroom pop to simple indiefolk songs, influenced in equal parts by the standard-issue musical taste of a 90's Manchester teenager; an obsession with the MIDI sounds from keyboards of childhood Christmases past; and the finger-picking guitar style of anyone who can play more than the one pattern she heavily relies on. Major recent influences include Marika Hackman, Susanne Sundfør, Big Thief, Bon Iver, Tallest Man on Earth, Chvrches, Slow Readers Club, Christine and the Queens, IDER, Kate Rusby, Jesca Hoop and Fontaines D.C. but it's an endless daily list....
She will be releasing lots of music in 2021 having gratefully received a National Lottery Arts Council Award in September 2020 to fund recording. Her debut single Holds Me Down featured in the Fresh on the Net 'Fresh Faves' list (June 2020) and was released on all platforms on 18.09.2020 Press release available HERE
Test Card Girl will be performing live in a venue near you just as soon as it is allowed! Find our more below in this insightful interview recorded on the eve of her first single release:
'Not rushed or grabby. Not too much going on, but nor too little. The right balance!'
'Lush' -John Kennedy, Xposure, Radio X
'A lightness of touch that is all too rare seems to be at her beck and call'
- MP3 Hugger Blog, May 2020
'Spine-tingling mutli-layered vocal harmonies'
'A glorious mess of retro-synth-sonics'
'Sounds a bit like Kate Rusby singing an electropop song with Sufjan Stevens playing the synthesiser for Wham's 'Last Christmas'
'Absolutely gorgeous..she's got a dreamy vocal...so eerie and beautiful'
'What truly makes this song so special is how it defies any preconceived ideas you may have about what makes an indie pop song. It takes so many different, adventurous directions you’d never expect it to take, but it works harmoniously and effortlessly. It feels so natural, yet so refreshing and new. Refusing to lean into any current lofi indie trends, Test Girl Card brings a joyous, genuinely delightful sound to the table-- a sound that is all too underrated in today’s largely moody indie scene'
'Electronically whimsical in its sound, there is definitely something to be said about the uniqueness that Test Card Girl’s ‘Holds Me Down’ brings to the table'
There’s something about a song like this that just screams out to be the addictive alt-pop hit of the year that no-one expected.'
'Lyrically the song captures perfectly the moment where love can become gently but completely overwhelming, something that Hold Me Down does with considerable grace.'
'Sparkling with youthful vibrancy, Test Card Girl's ‘Holds Me Down’ oozes a hopefulness that occasionally teeters on the edge of naivety. A retro-glazed fantasia that relies just as much on its simplicity as it does the smorgasbord of influences that have worked their way in.'
'A fantastic mesh of indie, folk, synth and soul all wrapped up in a cute bow'.
'There's something endearingly pure to her first single, "Holds Me Down". It is filled with ideas and textures but in a way that each carefully thought out harmony or synth sound is given room to breathe. Her pseudonym is inspired by 'Test Card F' - the girl and clown used on UK television to signal the end of evening broadcasting from 1967 to 1998 - and there is something about her nostalgic toy synths that marry perfectly with that image'