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Preview for press and labels
(please don't share ahead of release)

The Magus is the new EP from Glaswegian sophisti-pop songmonger, PETER CAT. The follow up to last year's debut full-length, The Saccharine UndergroundThe Magus jukes confidently into the leftfield, as Peter Cat marries the couture pop hooks of his first record with a modern musical sensibility inspired as much by Billie Eilish and Gus Dapperton as by Scott Walker and Frank Zappa.

The opening notes of 'Blue Raspberry' summon a hazy bedroom pop feel, with wobbly, pitch-shifted guitar lines gliding over a woozy 808 beat. The nostalgic warmth of layered analog synthesisers hugs the ears from either side; you'll find all six of your inner meridians getting all warm and fuzzy here (it's a great soundtrack for a relaxing acupuncture session).

 

Not a record to rest on its laurels, title track 'The Magus' swiftly follows with a regal keyboard intro, bridging the gap between Scott 3 and Flying Lotus. With a quick detour through 'Melon Dating Simulator!!' – a song inspired by the Steam game 'Superstorm Melon Date', in which the player romances a melon-human hybrid in a dystopian future – the EP closes out with the riveting 'Disappearing Act', an epic Brechtian cabaret piano ballad played and recorded on a Berlin-made upright from 1895.

 

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Photography by Audrey Bizouerne

Despite the clear evolution from the guitar-pop of The Saccharine Underground, singer & songwriter Graham Gillespie's sonorous baritone ensures a strong continuity between The Magus and its predecessor. Gillespie is in possession (for the next few years, anyway) of a commanding, dramatic voice that recalls the likes of John Grant and Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy; and the lyrics are as literate, sharp. brittle, and candid as ever here.

Every record needs a theme, and the theme of The Magus is deception – the masks we wear. Or more specifically, the masks that straight men wear as they convince themselves of their own incurable, terminal loneliness, then weaponise this delusion as a ruse to trick others into giving up their hearts to them; without any intention of reciprocating. 

 

While this might sound like a contemporary theme (and @beam_me_up_softboi does get a shoutout), the EP is directly inspired by John Fowles' 1965 novel of the same name, highlighting how – predictably, depressingly – not a great deal has changed about male behaviour in the intervening fifty-six years. But this isn't a sermon delivered from a pedestal, nor is it an attempt to laugh off a deadly serious problem. These are dark, raw songs sung from a place of shameful experience, in which an acknowledgement of past wrongs is coupled with a commitment to do better.

Are you interested in working with Peter Cat to launch The Magus? Help it get some press or promo attention? Or would you like to cover – dare I say, 'review' – The Magus in your publication? Well, this is the whole thrust of this endeavour, and if you've read this far, I can only hope you might feel an attraction to doing so.

If this is the case, then please hit us up bro/message us/beseech us to divulge further (delete as appropriate) via the following contacts:

petercatofficial@gmail.com

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