ANNA CODDINGTON: Cat & Bird
By Amanda Mills
Two years after her solo debut album, ‘The Lake’, Anna Coddington’s effortless latest shows distinct growth from her earlier work both in songwriting skills and in production and arrangements. Though consciously divided between singer/songwriter quiet and pop/rock energy, the material on ‘Cat & Bird’ has considerably more commercial polish. Bolt has an American rock feel that brings to mind FM-radio sirens like Stevie Nicks, while Little Islands has a powerful, punky alternative rock sound, with wall-of-sound backing vocals, and an inventive drum pattern courtesy of Riki Gooch. The gorgeous pop all over is accompanied by Coddington’s lyrics, which mesh amplified emotion with stories from other points of view, and culminates with the lovely Black Light which has the classic ‘quiet-loud’ structure, emphasising the expansiveness of the song. Recorded at both Roundhead Studios and Coddington’s home, with a top band in partner Ned Ngatae, LA Mitchell, Mike Hall and Riki Gooch, ‘Cat & Bird’ is a very good album. It’s a big step forward for Coddington, presenting her as a musician not shy of commerciality, while keeping her identity central to her music.