Music

The debut EP from Catseye Parish is an indie-folk dream

There comes a time when it seems the only thing that can make us feel better is a dreamy acoustic track, and Catseye Parish has a bunch of them to share with the world.

James McArthur has just blessed the world with his debut self-titled EP, which delivers five stunning tracks. 

Catseye Parish

Delve deep into the charming sounds of Catseye Parish on his debut EP. 

McArthur is a self-produced artist making his first attempt at a solo musical project as Catseye Parish. Being raised in a musical family meant that from a young age, McArthur was able to fully immerse himself in the world of music, trying his hand at drums and percussion before he really fell in love with guitar and singing. After experimenting in a number of projects, many with a much more substantial, indie-rock feel, McArthur decided that it was time to start creating his first solo project, and that is when Catseye Parish was born. Impressively, this EP will mark the very first time that McArthur has independently written all the songs for a project as well as sung all vocals and played every instrument recorded except for bass guitar. 

We often find that artists seem to put themselves in a box, defining themselves based on genre or their favoured instruments. However, Catseye Parish has a much more worldly approach, allowing a wide array of his musical experiences to influence his sound. As such, he is able to mimic the dreamy build-up of an indie-rock track, but with a much more laid back acoustic feel. Opening track Running In Circles does just this, starting slowly and leading to an exhilarating finish. 

Grandpa’s Song offers an opportunity for Catseye Parish to provoke a strong sense of emotion, not only through the track’s gentle acoustic sound but more so through his impressive storytelling ability. It becomes immediately clear that McArthur likes to add intricate details to his lyrics which bring these stories to life, making it hard not to hang onto every word. 

See You There is one of those songs that you could hear in the bitter-sweet turning point of a really great film. While we were already introduced to McArthur’s dreamy vocal ability in his previous tracks, it feels as though his voice simply melts over the softly delivered acoustic guitar, before the track’s build-up, which is brought to life by stunning harmonies and a purposeful rhythm. Without paying close attention to the track’s lyrics, we still feel every feeling that McArthur conveys, an idea of revelation, moving on from hardship and feeling at peace with oneself and others. Lyrically, Worst of Times seems to be a fitting soundtrack to our world’s most recent events, however, while they can be broadly applied, they also share profoundly personal experiences and emotions. 

More Than I Bargained For could just be Catseye Parish’s standout track. McArthur hits unprecedented high notes which are simply angelic, conjuring up a deep sadness and sense of melancholy which is impossible to ignore. Stretching across five minutes, we feel the gradual build-up of the song which slowly but surely consumes you. In many ways, the build-up and distinctive sense of emotion can be compared to artists like Kodaline, however, Catseye Parish is his own artist, creating works which are soulful and authentic to his unique perspective of the world. 

Sometimes you just need to hear music which makes you feel all the feels. Listen to the debut EP of Catseye Parish below.