Refloating a treasure-laden wreck with the creative guile they’ve earned over three decades, The Coral release a glittering gem once feared lost from their forthcoming album, Sea Of Mirrors, a harmony-rich fanfare to ultimate freedom – That’s Where She Belongs. Inspired by wheeling seabirds in blue skies, drawn directly from views over their heads on the coast-hugging streets they call home, the collision of truth and fiction meets underlying notions of release and redemption.
Using Sea Of Mirrors’ concept, one of an Italian spaghetti western filmed around wilting cardboard sets plagued by unexpected Mediterranean torrents, The Coral share the scene with a cast of imaginary, fading stars being stalked by their acute sense of unfulfilled promise. That’s Where She Belongs appears as a richly melodic counterpoint to the protagonists’ sense of disorientation and dread, the song itself resurrected from source of creative strife to become a middle-order album peak.  

James Skelly says of the track: “This was me chasing sunlit shadows, trying to capture the beauty of the summer. For some strange reason, I feel a duty to do that from time to time. It didn’t work first time around but we took it into the studio and used some old tricks we’ve learned – editing the violins into the chorus, turning almost everything backwards and adding some Glenn Campbell guitars – and we came out with the hazy summer psychedelia the album needed to break up the intensity.”

Announcing that their 11th studio album, the follow up to 2021’s audatious, No.2 charting double-album concept mapping out their creative utopia of Coral Island, would be an imagined soundtrack to a film never made, The Coral underlined their sense of total artistic freedom as they journey through their third decade as a band. By announcing a second album, Holy Joe’s Coral Island Medicine Show, would be released on the same day, Fri 8 September 2023, the band confirmed their enduring defiance of convention, expectation and constraint.
Sea Of Mirrors will be available in multiple, limited-edition and standard vinyl formats as well as CD, cassette and digital, while 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.
Rich with collaborative venture, including bringing in The High Llamas and Stereolab’s Sean O’Hagan in as co-producer and arranger, the band has previously released Drifter’s Prayer, featuring Dr Who and Life On Mars actor, John Simm, lifted from Holy Joe’s Coral Island Medicine Show, and Ocean’s Apart, featuring Cillian Murphy, drawn from Sea Of Mirrors. Guitarist with hugely-influential 60’s psych legends, Love, Johnny Echols appears to voice the Sea Of Mirror’s sleeve notes on an exclusive Rough Trade flexi-disc, while James and Ian Skelly’s grandad aka The Great Muriarty reprises his role as Coral Island’s master of ceremonies on Holy Joe’s Coral Island Medicine Show.

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