Renaissance woman, and force of nature Catherine Anne Davies aka The Anchoress, aka Catherine A.D. has announced her debut album Confessions of A Romantic Novelist which is released on January 8, 2016. In the run up to the release she has shared the song Popular off the pending album and is planning to share a track a month until the release date. The album was co produced with Mansun’s Paul Draper, who also sings on the album track You and Only You. Paul Draper was a significant collaborator on the release, kindred spirit and friend.
Haling from Wales Catherine Anne Davies is a woman of numerous talents; a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and PhD holder. She lists among her musical credits being a member of Simple Minds on their recent tour, and a member of the Scottish super group The Dark Flowers. Her intent for Confessions of A Romantic Novelist is to deconstruct normative ideas of love and romance. Each song is sung by a different character, as she describes, “What you might call a musical ghost writing of sorts.”
It has been a long path to finalizing the album, with over three years invested in the release. As Catherine says,”It was made on a wing and a prayer, lots of favours, one car crash, one death, one broken hand, lots of patience on so many parts. Stir in three jobs, four studios, 2 arrests, 3 pianos, 40 songs and 1 very patient engineer.” Whew. It is also a snapshot of those three years making the album. According to Catherine she was not involved in the arrests. However she was the individual with the broken hand.
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The first single Popular Catherine has described as the most realized song on the album. She states, “That it sounds the most like what she heard it in her head”. This is also the song that marks the transition from Catherine working on the album alone to writing and working with Paul Draper, it was a huge watershed song.
The song itself is catchy, quirky and will grow on you with each listen. It is Kate Bush in her “The Dreaming” era modernized. Catherine has a fantastic full throated delivery that is enthralling. With each pass different wry lyrics jump out at you as it deals with the irrational human desire for popularity; “She’ll go far but she will never be popular”. This song definitely builds anticipation for the full release.
Currently Catherine A.D. is winding up her stint with Simple Minds, working with Paul Draper on his debut solo album and working with Bernard Butler on her second recording effort.