Preview for press and labels
(please don't share ahead of release)
The Magus is the new EP from Glasgow's favourite sophisti-pop songmonger, PETER CAT. The follow up to last year's debut full-length, The Saccharine Underground, The 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' bring a hazy bedroom pop feel to the forefront. Wobbly, pitch-shifted guitar lines glide over a woozy 808 beat, while the nostalgic warmth of layered analog synthesisers hug the ears from either side. Not being a record to rest on its laurels, title track 'The Magus' swiftly follows with its majestic 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 with the riveting 'Disappearing Act', an epic Brechtian cabaret piano ballad played and recorded on a Berlin-made upright from 1895.
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 of a commanding, dramatic voice that recalls the likes of John Grant and Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy: and his 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.
Directly inspired by John Fowles' 1965 postmodern novel of the same name, Peter Cat's The Magus reworks the book's themes for a modern audience (@beam_me_up_softboi gets a shoutout), while at the same time suggesting – depressingly, perhaps – that not a great deal has changed in the intervening fifty-six years. But this isn't a sermon delivered from a pedestal: these are dark songs sung from a place of shameful experience, in which an acknowledgement of past wrongs is coupled with a steadfast commitment to do better. Peter Cat is part of the problem? It's a provisional title for the next record, at least.
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: