INTERVIEW: Cat Ryan | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by Will Copley

In December one of the North East’s most beguiling and entertaining bands, Cat Ryan, release their new EP King Of The World. It contains what is essentially a distilled capsule of tunes from the past few years by songwriter and singer Mary-Anne Murphy that have been reworked and, in some cases, re-recorded with a fresh eye as Mary-Anne and the band have evolved. EP production was aided by Eliott Glinn who Mary-Anne praises: “He has really helped us to enhance the sound and get the music to a professional level so we could release a collection of songs that truly reflected our musical direction.”

Cat Ryan have a distinctly melodic, jangling guitar sound that fans rightly love in their songs, but how was the process of selecting which ones made it onto the EP? “They’re a key reflection of my songwriting evolution,” Mary-Anne says, “from the very first songs I wrote in the Cat Ryan style Lost My Connection and Daydream, through to the stage where I began experimenting with our sound on Speeding Too Slow, all the way to the most recently written song that I am most of proud of as a songwriter, Rex Mundi. Overall, the EP lays the foundations for what’s to come next for us, as this is only the beginning!”

It’s almost like I wrote these songs for my future self

The songs may span a number of years, but the underlying quality is so consistently high that they sit together comfortably. Mary-Anne expands on the process of revisiting them. “When I returned to the old songs to re-record them, I had forgotten exactly what some of them were about, but re-analysing the lyrics helped to unlock some past memories of the times when I wrote these songs. I’ve actually grown closer to them and strangely, their sentiments mean more to me now than before.”

Although originally written by Mary-Anne herself she’s keen to clarify: “It seems as though all of them are about my experience, but actually a lot of them are stories and characters I created, based loosely off experiences. The reason for this is because, for quite a few years, I had known I was gay but was too afraid to come out as I was only 17 or 18 and still at school, so the songs, excluding Rex Mundi, are based on situations of liking girls but not on real relationships…it’s funny now though, because I’ve since come out and had relationships and realised I actually relate to the songs a lot more than I ever did before. It’s almost like I wrote these songs for my future self.”

King Of The World feels like a pivotal place for the band to be at right now, on the cusp of something big. Mary-Anne explains that while her writing has always been a solo process later enhanced by the band for live shows, she’s since begun writing with new bassist/keyboardist Dan. “It’s exciting to be working with another band member through the creation process, as it’s only been me up until now.” The EP launches with a livestream and giveaway planned so follow Cat Ryan’s social links for news of when and where. We have a feeling that you won’t want to miss what’s next.

Cat Ryan release King Of The World on 15th December.


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