- 26 Mar 21
Cork maestro back in the saddle.
Cathal Coughlan is back! Yes, thought that might get your attention. Having teased us last year with a mesmerising cover of Van Morrison’s ‘Come Here My Love’ for Hot Press, the former Microdisney and Fatima Mansions alt-rock supremo now releases his first new music in a decade. That he’s in cahoots with – amongst others – ex-Auteurs mastermind Luke Haines and former Microdisney man Sean O’Hagan merely adds spice to the venture.
With echoes of Henry Rollins, Bertolt Brecht and Scott Walker, Coughlan takes his sturdy dozen songs way beyond normal indie limits. His socio-political commentary marries hardcore words and music, reflecting his widescreen take on the contemporary human condition. So if you’re looking for escape, look elsewhere.
There’s an urgency and weight to the title track that evokes John Cale, whilst remaining vintage Coughlan. ‘My Child Is Alive’ reflects our current turmoil, while the restrained anger of ‘Crow Mother’ proves equally effective. There’s an unsettling, spiky feel to ‘Let’s Flood The Fairground’, as Coughlan trains his beady eye on a not-always-benign world.
‘Falling Out North St’ and ‘Unrealtime’ have a world-weary languor that might result in soupy ballads, but Coughlan imbues the tracks with serious intent. So, despite the stylistic diversity, Song Of Co-Aklan has a cohesion many albums lack.
Apart from the somewhat cryptic title, Coughlan’s sixth solo album is a real gem. Better still, it tees us up nicely for his forthcoming collaboration with ace producer Jacknife Lee – we can’t wait.