by Joel Cathcart

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Praglia is a nomad's album, a meeting point for songs written and rewritten in various locations throughout Ireland, Italy and the American Southwest, gathered together and recorded in a remote wooden house, nestled in the titular high plains which overlook the city of Genoa.

The songs themselves are intricate and intimate, with fragments of clarinet, cavaquinho and hang layered over a base of fingerstyle guitar and melancholy baritone. They speak of obscure, dreamlike places ("the tattooed wilderness", "the origami wasteland", "the burning fountain"), peopled by a motley symbolist cast (the "Tetris angels", the "patois crow" and the enigmatic "Steven"). This distilled vocabulary charts a cryptic psychogeography; each listener must (re)align landmarks and archetypes in order to unearth its hidden narratives.

Praglia è un album nomade, un punto d'incontro tra varie canzoni scritte e riscritte in diverse sedi in Irlanda, Italia e negli Stati Uniti sudoccidentali nel corso degli ultimi due anni, raccolte insieme e registrate in uno studio 'di fortuna' dentro una casa di legno, annidata nei piani eponimi che sovrastano la città di Genova.

Le canzoni stesse sono intricate ed intime, con sfumature di clarinetto, hang e cavaquinho stratificate su una base di chitarra fingerstyle e voce baritonale, morbida e malinconica. Parlano di luoghi onirici, bui, effimeri ('il deserto tatuato', 'la terra incolta d'origami', 'la fontana che brucia'), popolati da personaggi simbolici ('gli angeli di Tetris', 'il corvo del patois', e il misterioso 'steven'); una psicogeografia criptica ed un linguaggio iper-distillato che sfidano l'ascoltatore ad allineare le immagini e gli archetipi in modo da creare una o più narrative.


released August 30, 2016

Joel - Voice, Guitars, Clarinet, Cavaquinho,Hang



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Joel Cathcart Genoa, Italy

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

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Track Name: Scrawl
Our pact was a scrawl
Just a pirouette in the tattoo wilderness I fill these diaries with
Spent my face
Face up, I lost my faith in face offs

Lashed to the mast, but in the end I wasn't terribly impressed
Your siren song was a plaintive hash
It went on too long, it was a maudlin autograph
Track Name: Unwaltz
And now, settle up, settle down
But I can't, and I can't, and I can't
And you dance around in the dark
Where I last left my heart

I'll always sow a lie for you
My disease surrenders right on cue
Now the holy kiss is overdue

And now that my soul is asleep
I have freedom to dream
Will you dance ahead through the dark
Where the dawn leaves its mark

I'll always throw a line for you
My disease meanders right on through
Saw your guilty footprints in the dew
But I closed my eyes
Track Name: Steven, Stranger
Steven I have built my heart
On a mile of dancing sand
Slow exposures drain the dark
I don't know what I was thinking of
Fear alighted in my hands
And broke a trembling wing
Blood is love I understand
Although it's her that I'm thinking of

Grieving for the softer dawn
By a grave of mindless sun
Bled a mile of dancing sand
A photo that shows what I'm thinking of
Steven they will lay your heart
In the blood of a thousand hearts
And I will build my trembling wings
From photos of my fears
Track Name: Capitals
Heart outstretched
Drag net for the burning fountain
I can catch the charcoal perch before they land
But they won't hatch
Black dream of vestal embers fills my head with smoke

Anxious neck
Heartstring of the fallen mountain
In dialect
Split shells spill symmetries I must collect
Black luck of Tetris angels fills my room with gold
Track Name: Acéphale
Bloody rainbow tongue
Always kept the faith while I waded in
Covers my retreat to the water

While you climb the spires
Of the last remaining capitals
We will float away on the water

Light a burning car
Watch it dream with solstice clarity
Martyred in its sleep
Track Name: Prehistory
Patois crow crackles out today's espresso horoscope
The languid taste of useless truth
The curl of my circular vices
These dragon shards and foster stars emit a fluorescent irony
Could I give it up, keep it pure for once?

And now that you've left the shore
Where were the throats that were calling you onwards
Trying to guess the depth
So many stories of like-it or like-it-or-not

Chequered mate, a fleeting shape
Your face is shrouded in promises
The tranquil pace of distant hills
The call of their advertising
These sedatives and kayak scars obscure an angry colony
But I gave it up
Track Name: Faith Healer
Creases of the morning
The origami wasteland bends into bloom
Seeds of my illusion - the sapling in the courtyard

Stranded on the morning
The call for reinforcements floats out of view
Falling from the Temple, angelic hands await me