“I could listen to Cathal Coughlan sing the phone book” said DJ John Peel many years ago, and he wasn’t wrong. Having done numerous Peel sessions over the years in his former bands Microdisney and Fatima Mansions, Coughlan’s distinctively rich vocals won the hearts of many. Fast forward to 2021 and Coughlan’s vocals still propel his sixth solo album along, with the lyrical wit and social observations still firmly intact.

‘Song Of Co-Aklan’ has soaring melodies which belie the fire and venom in the lyrical content, “raise your hands if you don’t know what this means“ Coughlan sings mysteriously in his endearing tones on the title track, whereas ‘St Wellbeing Axe’ has a dark rock edge spinning at its core, and songs like ‘Passed Out Dog’ and ‘Let’s Flood The Playground’ also have a sense of theatrical drama to their menacing sounds.

Coughlan has morphed from being a leading light on the Irish indie scene into a songwriter not afraid to branch out into more experimental realms, whilst maintaining his poetic and astute lyrics throughout. Reunited with members of his former bands Microdisney and Fatima Mansions as well as a host of collaborators, there’s hints of Scott Walker, Sparks, The The and The National in there but the unique vision of Coughlan shines through.

The first new music from Coughlan in over a decade, ‘Song Of Co-Aklan’ reaffirms him as one of the best, and possibly under appreciated songwriters around.

Cathal Coughlan – Song Of Co-Aklan: Out Now (Dimple Discs)

Video – Song Of Co-Aklan

From the early days of creating handmade zines, in a DIY paper and glue style, interviewing bands around town, then pestering Piccadilly Records to sell them, to writing for various independent mags such as Chimp and Ablaze, writing about the music I love is still a great passion. After testing the music industry waters in London with stints at various labels, being back in my hometown again, writing about this city’s vibrant music scene is as exciting as ever. All time favourite bands include Sonic Youth, Nick Cave, Patti Smith although anything from electro to folk via blues and pysch rock will also do nicely too. A great album, is simply a great album, regardless of whatever musical cage you put it in.