The Lonely Cry Of Space And Time by Anna Coogan was released on April 28th but I’ve only just had a copy to review. Is there a genre for Indie-Goth-Opera (IGO perhaps?) [I’d prefer IGOR – ed.]. There ought to be because I’ve no idea otherwise how to give a feel in words for the sound-experience of listening to this album. My only other option was to take you back to 1978 and first listening to The Kick Inside, that sense that no-one else is doing music like this and making it work.
Coogan is American but her music reflects the classical opera training she had at the Mozarteum University of Salzburg before she returned to America. This is her fifth ‘solo’ release – solo in inverted commas as her previous work has been collaborative and The Lonely Cry Of Space And Time is a two person effort featuring Willie B (Brian Wilson) on drums and moog bass alongside Coogan’s electric guitar and three-octave soprano vocals. Below you can listen to ‘Wishing Well’ played live where the haunting quality of Coogan’s voice against the gentle playing behind her are ‘shiver-down-the spine’ good. But then keep listening until the end for the operatic violence of ‘By Morning’ which follows, as it does on the album.
It’s an album where I’ve listened to the sound rather than the lyrics, but when you do spend time to take in the words you discover imagery and metaphors which transcend the immediacy of the song they are in: “Keep on swimming until you find the shore”, “Let the oceans rise/To the shining skies/I will burn for you”, “My eyes are wide open/But my vision is hazy”.
Coogan has a European Tour coming up in October but if you want to see her in the UK you have only three dates to choose from The Sound Lounge in South London (19th), Bovey Tracey in Devon, and Farndale in North Yorkshire – all appropriately off the beaten track and at least two of them in areas of mercurial beauty. Like this album.
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Artist’s website: https://annacoogan.com/#home-section
‘Wishing Well’ – live: