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Catfish and the Bottlemen unveil 'Kathleen' (Zane Lowe Hottest Record)

posted Feb 27, 2014, 11:53 AM by Vu Nguyen
Catfish And The Bottlemen will release new single Kathleen on April 14 2014, through Communion/Island Records. The track emerged as Zane Lowe’s Hottest Record In The World this week, and follows the band’s appearance in January on the bill of Radio 1’s Future Festival (alongside the likes of Sampha, Royal Blood, Circa Waves and Lizzo). The new release comes ahead of a string of UK live dates, including London Dingwalls on May 20 2014.

Kathleen was recorded in collaboration with Jim Abbiss, the man previously behind Arctic Monkeys’ debut Whatever People Say I Am That’s What I’m Not. Still possessed of their trademark punch, the track finds Catfish exploring a more nuanced sound, with Abbiss’ guiding hand to refine the band’s uncompromising approach to volume. ‘We have a tendency to just drench everything in reverb ‘cause we want it to sound dead loud’ admits front man Van McCann ‘but Jim showed us you can retain that loudness by dialling other elements down a little’.  Speaking about the lyrical inspiration behind the track, McCann says ‘Kathleen is a song about being completely infatuated with someone, so much so that it literally drives you mad and causes you all kind of problems. You can’t stop thinking about them, you can’t get anything done, you can’t think straight, you just want to be with them all the time.  Basically, it’s about being inexplicably madly in love with someone who’s absolutely backward, but completely gets you’.

Kathleen is the fourth single release in under 12 months from a band who’ve gathered little dust during their debut year- Catfish broke out in summer of 2013 with a string of Radio 1 championed singles, which laterally drew press praise from the NME, Q Magazine, Timeout and The Independent.  A frenetic summer tour schedule saw the 4 English kids from North Wales perform on the BBC Introducing Stage at this year’s Reading & Leeds Festival (alongside the likes of Denai Moore, Thumpers and JAWS) amidst their UK tour itinerary, which also took in sold-out London shows at The Barfly, Sebright Arms and Borderline.

Frontman Van McCann’s own story begins far removed from the small-town ennui which originally drove Catfish to leave Llandudo, North Wales. Born as a test tube baby to free-minded Liverpudlian parents, Van spent his early years travelling around Australia by car, and still struggles to recall his birthplace - “Where was I born? Cheshire? Cheshire”. Once back in the less expansive environs of Llandudno, McCann came into the orbit of future bandmates Billy Bibby (guitar), Benji Blakeway (bass) and Bob Hall (drums) at school, from where he was soon expelled due to prolonged absences. Although still based in Llandudno now, the band’s ad hoc domestic arrangements reflect the sporadic time spent there between touring- the 4 piece have a rehearsal space in a B&B run by a couple who became fans of the band, and invited them to live there rent-free as long as they continued to make music. The band now drift nomadically in and out of vacant rooms when back in town.

Catfish And The Bottlemen signed to Communion Records (Deap Vally, Half Moon Run) this Spring, recording their debut material in Wales’ legendary Rockfield Studios with Communion founder Ian Grimble. The signing followed a furious 18 month period which saw them play over 150 live shows to hone their live set, which invariably sees frontman Van McCann climbing the walls and playing guitar as though his life depended on it, whilst fans crowd surf and sing every word.

Catfish And The Bottlemen are Van McCann (vocals & guitar), Billy Bibby (lead guitar), Benji Blakeway (bass) and Bob Hall (drums). //@thebottlemen //

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