Irish indie music legend Cathal Coughlan presents ‘Owl In The Parlour’, the second single from his forthcoming album ‘Song of Co-Aklan’, his first new music in ten years, to be released via London label Dimple Discs. The accompanying video was created by Andy Golding (The Wolfhounds, Dragon Welding), presenting Co-Aklan in an infomercial of the most hallucinatory and lurid kind, which is nonetheless friendly and persuasive in tone.
“This song is, in part, a survey of the options in personal couture, animal husbandry and ‘inexpensive’ domestic staffing which are now available to the spry middle-aged man in this era of global communication. In this gilded age, we are simultaneously interlinked and mutually repelled as never before, whether we live in remote settlements in war-torn parts of the world, or in the mosaic of postage-stamp-sized semi-detached fortresses and gargantuan fulfilment hubs that is the English Hinterland in 2021,” says Cathal Coughlan.
Earlier, Coughlan released the title track ‘Song of Co-Aklan’, along with a video that is a hermetic visual feast, created by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker George Seminara.
Best known as co-founder and vocalist for seminal 80s/90s bands Microdisney and The Fatima Mansions, who toured internationally with U2, the Cork native has been described as “the most underrated lyricist in pop today” by The Guardian newspaper. DJ John Peel was also such a fan that he stated he could “listen to Cathal Coughlan sing the phone book”.
Recorded in London, this song features Coughlan’s long-time collaborators from the Grand Necropolitan Quartet. Namely Nick Allum (The Fatima Mansions, The Apartments) is on drums, James Woodrow is on guitar, with cello by Audrey Riley (notable collaborator of Lush, The Sundays, The Smiths, Nick Cave, The Cure, The Go-Betweens, Smashing Pumpkins, Catherine Wheel, Moloko and Coldplay). Anchoring the song is Rhodri Marsden (Scritti Politti) on bass.
This album also features contributions from Luke Haines (The Auteurs, Black Box Recorder) on bass and baritone guitar. The eye-catching cover art for the ‘Song of Co-Aklan’ LP is by outsider artist Cristabel Christo and originated by Bruce Brand, award winning designer for The Darkness and Whites Stripes.
Cathal Coughlan is widely considered to be one of Ireland’s most revered singer-songwriters, beloved by fans of caustic literate lyricism and erudite songcraft. Since Fatima Mansions’ demise in the mid-90s, he has released five acclaimed solo albums, taken part in an array of collaborations and made numerous guest appearances. Along with Microdisney bandmates, he was the first recipient in 2019 of Ireland’s National Concert Hall Trailblazer Award, which celebrates culturally important albums by iconic Irish musicians, songwriters and composers (for 1985’s ‘The Clock Comes Down The Stairs’).
As of February 5, ‘Owl In The Parlour’ is available digitally across online platforms, such as Apple Music and Spotify. Lead track ‘Song of Co-Aklan’ can already be found on these same platforms. The full album, set for release on March 26, can be pre-ordered at https://ffm.to/songofcoaklanal
Nick Allum – Drums and Percussion
James Woodrow – Guitars
Audrey Riley – Cello
Rhodri Marsden – Bass
Cathal Coughlan – Co-Aklan
Mastered by George Shilling
Cover by Bruce Brand & Mary Tee at Arthole
Front cover painting by Cristabel Christo, based in part on photos by Gregory Dunn / Stoneybutter
Composed and deranged by Cathal Coughlan
Photos by Gregory Dunn
“The most underrated lyricist in pop today” ~ The Guardian
“[I could] listen to Cathal Coughlan sing the phone book” ~ John Peel
“Devilish genius… has always been a joyous thorn in the side of Irish alternative music; erudite, scathing, never afraid to tread his own, rockier path” ~ Backseat Mafia
“Coughlan is a wise and modest artist with big ideas, a witty and clever songwriter with a biting yet endearing edge” ~ Amplify Music Magazine