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Catherine A.D. poised to break it big in 2009

Catherine A.D.

Feature by Jack Foley

CATHERINE A.D. releases the limited edition Carry Your Heart EP on February 16, 2009, ahead of her noir-pop debut album which is currently being produced by Bernard Butler (Suede, Duffy,The Cribs) and Liam Howe (Sneaker Pimps).

And on the evidence of this first taster, she’s an artist to watch for the coming year, especially since Butler’s last production duties brought us Duffy!

Catherine A.D. is, however, very different. She’s the work of British songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Catherine Anne Davies.

After mastering the flute, which she’d been playing from aged seven, Catherine abandoned a world of orchestras and classical music for the guitar after a close encounter of the inspirational kind with a Nirvana CD.

It was a less pleasant experience that led her to the piano. Catherine decided to teach herself how to play after falling down the stairs during her first week at university, breaking her back, ribs and her lifelong dreams of being a dancer.

Nursing broken bones and bruises, she immersed herself in a world of books and music, switching to study two degrees simultaneously (“it hurt to sit still for too long!”) whilst continuing to master her instruments “and the art of heavy drinking”.

In her spare time, she was busy getting herself banned from the infamous Trash club, and earning money playing cocktail piano in the lobby of the Hilton – “upmarket busking I guess you could call it”, she says of her summer there.

Reading the great American poets during her breaks and surviving on the “ridiculously expensive club sandwiches that cost about £12 but they gave me for free”, the week after finishing university, Catherine found herself invited to collaborate alongside Nitin Sawhney for the grand re-opening of the Royal Festival Hall in summer of 2007 and has subsequently become one of the emerging Artists in Residence at the Southbank Centre.

Catherine’s music packs a life-affirming epic punch alongside her softer moments that showcase a voice which even Courtney Love has described as “gorgeous, sick, beautiful…”

Her forthcoming Carry Your Heart EP features that self-penned title, produced by Liam Howe, alongside a one-man-band re-imagining of The Magnetic Fields’ track The Book of Love and the beautifully simple bedroom recording of another self-penned song, Waiting To Breathe.

The EP is released via her own label, Outsiderhood, on February 16, 2009 as a limited edition of 500 ribbon-wrapped packages.

The EP’s artwork also includes a guide to making an origami dove.

“Japanese custom says that you need to fold 1,000 paper cranes and then you have a wish granted,” she says. “So, with the EP I should be halfway to a wish… or something!”

Good luck to her… she deserves to find massive success.