By Mimis Chrysomallis
It has been more than half a decade since English indie rock act The Coral released their last studio album (Butterfly House, 2010). After working on various solo projects over the last 5 years, the band members recently got together to record Distance Inbetween, the group’s eighth studio album. Following the single Chasing the Tail of a Dream (which was released on December 26, 2015), the new album came out earlier last month.
Recorded at Liverpool’s Parr Street Studios and coproduced by Richard Turvey, the album features the addition of guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Paul Molloy (formerly of The Skylarks, The Stands, and The Zutons). The album came to being while the band was in the process of reviewing material originally recorded in 2006 for their album The Curse of Love (which was eventually released in 2014). Featuring a heavier and less “poppy” sound that the band’s earliest releases, it was recorded live in the studio and features minimal overdubs. Backed by a solid rhythm section and following Molloy’s dynamic guitar playing, frontman James Skelly appears to be in good shape, while the overall sound is fresh and crispy. Fans of the band will immediately relate to the album’s feel and tone, as much of what has made the sound of The Coral so distinctive is to be found here too: catchy psychpop tunes, melancholy charming melodies, folky influences, atmospheric harmonies and a splash of overflowing nostalgia, characteristic of the band’s identity.
Distance Inbetween features several notable tracks, including the album’s two singles (Chasing the Tail of a Dream, Miss Fortune) as well as the title track and the brilliant Holy Revelation. As a whole, the album comes across as straightforward and easy to listen to without sounding simplistic or unsophisticated – on the contrary, the orchestrations are carefully crafted and the vocals well executed, making for a vibrant, exciting record. Ending the band’s extended hiatus, Distance Inbetween is a very welcome comeback and indeed carries some of the best material we have heard from The Coral so far.