THE CORAL announce TWO 2023 albums with new single – WILD BIRD

The Coral
Credit: Simon Cardwell

Singular psych-folk-pop-rock wanderers, The Coral revel in a resurgent phase of artistic enquiry and announce that TWO albums will be released later this year at the same time as revealing their first new music since 2021 – WILD BIRD.

Imagining the scorched sand, cardboard cowboys and flooded sets of a never-made Italian spaghetti western, the single snaps the clapperboard on a new story playing out all the way to the release of Sea Of Mirrors, the band’s eleventh studio album ‘proper’ on Fri 8 September 2023.

After 2021’s expansive Coral Island album landed the Number 2 spot on the UK’s Official Album Chart and won unanimous critical praise, material for two further albums occurred to the band. Amidst that songwriting scirocco, it was a script. It was written by keyboard player Nick Power, and vintage cinema foyer poster artwork was created by drummer Ian Skelly that confirmed Sea Of Mirrors’ vivid concept and the blueprint for The Coral to move beyond all expectations once again.

The film’s envisaged opening theme, Wild Bird’s evocative sunlit shadows, come laced with deft string arrangements courtesy of the album’s co-producer, Sean O’Hagan (The High Llamas, Stereolab), who was welcomed into The Coral fold as one of a number of guests and collaborators featured across Sea Of Mirrors’ 13-tracks.

Between the two albums, the band additionally count actors Cillian Murphy and John Simm, plus Love guitarist Johnny Echols, as contributors. Former band member Bill Ryder-Jones joins the songwriting credits for Sea Of Mirrors. The Sundowners are also among the guests adding their voices to the album.

James Skelly says of Wild Bird: “Like most of The Coral’s best-known songs you could pick out, it was written in about five minutes. Once the album concept was clear, this was us imagining the theme tune for an Italian western directed by Fellini with a Richard Yates-written script. It’s us asking ourselves: what would have happened if Lee Hazlewood had produced a Gene Pitney song written by Townes Van Zandt?”

Check out the video for ‘Wild Bird’ – BELOW:

Bridging Coral Island and Sea Of Mirrors, a second album titled Holy Joe’s Coral Island Medicine Show will also be released this September. With the full tracklisting limited to one-off pressings on physical vinyl, CD and cassette formats only, the album brings James and Ian Skelly’s grandad, a.k.a The Great Muriarty back into the fold for the narrated post-script to one of The Coral’s most successful albums to date.

Sea Of Mirrors and Holy Joe’s Coral Island Medicine Show became the last albums to be recorded at Liverpool’s legendary Parr Street Studios, a long-term home to The Coral and numerous other bands from inside and outside the city prior to its closure last year. Opening sessions with O’Hagan in London, returning to Parr Street and, eventually, completing in final sessions at Skelly and producer Chris Taylor’s new recording facility, Kempston Street Studios, the album finds itself a part of music history for reasons beyond its place in The Coral’s extensive catalogue.

Sea Of Mirrors

While restlessly moving forward album-by-album, The Coral’s legendary status in British music is already 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. With ten albums to their name to date, six of those 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.

The Coral are James Skelly, Ian Skelly, Nick Power, Paul Duffy and Paul Molloy.


Xsnoize Author
Mark Millar is the founder of XS Noize and looks after the daily running of the website as well as hosting interviews for the weekly XS Noize Podcast.Mark's favourite album is Achtung Baby by U2.

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