After almost thirty years as a band, The Coral announced not one but TWO ALBUMS earlier this year. Sea of Mirrors and Holy Joe’s Coral Island Medicine Show are both landing on the 8th of September 2023. Adding another layer of intrigue to their upcoming album, Sea Of Mirrors The Coral have just shared its closing track, Ocean’s Apart, featuring a walk-on part by actor, Cillian Murphy who helped to see out the vividly-imagined Italian Western soundtrack that never was. Murphy agreed to narrate spoken word verses as Ocean’s Apart’s swirling, string-laden album finale comes to a close, using words written by the band’s keyboard player, frequent songwriter and poet, Nick Power. Murphy himself was formerly in a band called The Sons Of Mr Green Genes in Cork in the 1990s so is no stranger to the studio.
With The Coral describing the latest track as ‘the bohemian rhapsody Queen would’ve written if, instead of touring the world, they stayed in watching cinecittà studios films and listening to Gene Clark’, the song’s drama is borne of studio sessions riven with playful levity and unending possibility.
Singer and songwriter, James Skelly adds “Once everybody had put their parts on the track. Sean suggested we have some dialogue over the outro and said he’d done the soundtrack to Cillian Murphy’s first film, so he had a contact. A few weeks later I got an email from Cillian saying he was a fan and would be up for helping us.
“We discussed the character and how I saw it as a once great star like Buster Keaton or Bella Lagosi on the set of a low-budget B movie, looking back thinking: ‘How did I get here?’ I sent him what Nick had written and then left it up to him to do his thing and when we put what he sent us over the music it fitted perfectly.”
As well as bringing in heavyweights of stage and screen to guest on the albums, a bonus flexi disc exclusive to Rough Trade shops finds Love guitarist, Johnny Echols voicing the liner notes for the album, again writen by Power. On Holy Joe’s Coral Island Medicine Show, the Great Muriarty returns, a.k.a Ian and James Skelly’s grandard, having been the celebrated narrator of Coral Island itself.
Both albums are released on Run On Records in assoc. with Modern Sky UK on Fri 8 September 2023 with Sea Of Mirrors avalable in multiple, limited-edition and standard vinyl formats as well as CD, cassette and digital. Fans and collectors will only be able to get their hands on copies of Holy Joe’s Coral Island Medicine Show on single-pressing physical vinyl, CD and cassette formats.
Running headlong into the release of their 11th and 12th albums, 21 years after the release of their self-titled debut, The Coral’s legendary status in British music is assured by their run of hit singles including Dreaming Of You (now on over 100 million streams globally and securing UK Platinum status), Pass It On, Don’t Think You’re The First and In The Morning. Six of their previous albums have reached the Top 10 including Coral Island and 2003’s No.1 chart success, Magic and Medicine which saw the band nominated for Best Group at the Brit Awards.
Sea of Mirrors is released on Fri 8 September 2023 via Run On Records in association with Modern Sky UK. Also released this autumn is Holy Joe’s Coral Island Medicine Show on Physical Formats Only