by Joel Cathcart

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

      €7 EUR  or more




'Flotsam' is a mosaic of beached fragments, a collection of post-apocalyptic puzzles whose sprawling, hybrid ensemble sound signals the collapse of conventional structures and the creation of new listening spaces amid flooded ruins and overgrown motorways.

Flotsam significa 'relitti', resti abbandonati dal mare. Ma questi oggetti spiaggiati hanno qualcosa di strano, di enigmatico; sono dei sopravvissuti, all’indomani di un’apocalisse silenziosa, esplosa a denti stretti, che ha frantumato in tanti piccoli pezzi ogni rassicurante certezza. Questi resti ne sono la testimonianza: schegge sparpagliate di una quotidianità ormai persa. Flotsam, quindi, è un epilogo; parla di postumi e dei postumani, dell’erbaccia e delle acque alluvionali, del caos e del silenzio che inevitabilmente lo segue.


released February 27, 2017

Joel Cathcart - Voice, Guitars, Mandolin, Cavaquinho, Banjo, Piano, Hang, Clarinet, Erhu, Electric Bass, Drums, Percussion
Mattia Tommasini - Violin, Viola
Laura Monti - Cello
Pietro Martinelli - Double Bass
Stefano Bergamaschi - Flugelhorn, Trumpet

All songs written and arranged by Joel Cathcart
Engineered and produced by Tom Stearn
Mixed by Ben Talbot-Dunn
Mastered by Nick Huggins
Illustration and design by Michele Lepera



all rights reserved


Joel Cathcart Genoa, Italy

Joel is a composer, songwriter and visual artist, originally from Belfast, currently living in Genoa.

contact / help

Contact Joel Cathcart

Streaming and
Download help

Track Name: Placeholder
don't look for me
between the trees
I'll pay you in batteries

no hidden fees
between my leaves
while draining your batteries

and the ending it flew off on golden wings
towards the motorway
it was cold when it was over
looking backwards I saw

no photograph
these roads will last
placeholder grass
starting to laugh
at me

and my thesis it flew off on tired wings
towards the library
it was cold when it was over
looking backwards there were
Track Name: Counting Game
this tree coined the sundial
while counting magpies in his hair
evening fell upon them
cloaked the rhyming hours that loiter there

to recall, splice the sun's touch on the concrete
thread the light and sew a seed that's worth believing
'ere it splits in hand

this tree stood the soldier
while pulling magpies from his teeth
on the edge of execution
still spread rumours through the leaves

to decide, spread your wings around the thermal
lost above, see the hunger plain before you
secrets never told

this tree and the last tree
playing dead beside the road
three a girl or five for silver
wistful thieves rake through the load

to partake, draw the blood from every pebble
close your book and race the sun around the concrete
a thousand magpies scream an early warning
Track Name: Narwhal
whale 'cross the orchard road
ice floe full of greenhouse dainties

stranded luminous flotsam
figments of a tight and tidal love

sail on or swim home
dream up or drink down
Track Name: Choirs in Knowing Discord
weighed down
wade in
Track Name: Surface Tension
black light on the narrow waves
guides the deafened lake
large print russian summer sale
the leaning houses close their eyes

squealing infant gargoyles all
fastened to the stonework
spiderweb tribal elbows
witness every occult scale

fade, literate lion
all your delta pages drowned
jade waters rioting
the empty houses fill their lungs
Track Name: Method Acting
sometimes my body seems so far away
sleepless and sprawled on the green
a stone that fell shy of the bantam parade is still warm

sometimes your body seems so far away
a map with a ghost on its back
curled like a sail in the mouth of the saltwater wind

so far my body seems barely awake

"in an infinite period of time all things happen to all men"

so take me apart or don't take me at all
carve out a road in my throat
cut up the bones to get into the marrow inside
Track Name: Insufficient Grounds
insufficient grounds
for a test of time

soft-shelled riot police
funded by the dripping ice

can't contain ourselves
my growth is virus wide

moss-filled bombing run
no more second sight

walk the motorways
in search of what we missed
Track Name: Ruinous
eve of the last gasp
sunk another damp glass
splashed my way to the holdfast
a deserted compromise

I won't look at anybody else
I won't look at myself

a berth on the last dance
hatched a plant with a dark past
cracked the ribs of the wasps' nest
and the content came streaming out

looking like anybody else but myself

shuffling the deck
dreaming of death
Track Name: Floodgrass
sunveins stitch the granite sky
treble strands of devilmay floodgrass
choke the troubled fences

sunlake floods the stray earth
root canal spilling newborn waters
over the cobbled shoals

sungrain flecks the troubled river
sharp rash of hurried praise
covers the devilled current