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Ghost Canyon

Title - Stray Gods
Artist - CousteauX

For those unaware, one of music’s best-kept secret has re-emerged from self-inflicted obscurity. One of the world’s distinctive voices, Liam McKahey and songwriter/instrumentalist Davey Ray Moor have re-united as CousteauX.

CousteauX combine to make darkly romantic torch songs generating both light and heat. Liam brings a voice worn both rough and smooth to Davey’s slow jams: the remnants of a life’s stories darkening Davey’s bittersweet tunes. It’s a heady brew.

When this singer sings these songs, something mercurial happens. Theirs is an evocative, romantic sound critics are quick to compare to David Bowie, Nick Cave, Scott Walker and Burt Bacharach. “It’s not as though we try to blend those people, this is just the noise that comes out of us.”

Cousteau swept the world in 2001: their first album went gold internationally and they have been playing on radios, cinema and television soundtracks ever since.

Thus, CousteauX are Cousteau again; things just got a little darker.

On June 2nd, 2021, CousteauX announced their return with Karen Don’t Be Sad, the first single from the duo’s upcoming Stray Gods album (due out August 20th, 2021).

Written by Miley Cyrus in collaboration with Wayne Coyne and Steven Drodz of the Flaming Lips, Karen Don’t Be Sad originally appeared on Cyrus’ 2015 album Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz.

1. Cheap Perfume
2. Love The Sinner
3. Karen Don’t Be Sad
4. Yesterdays Eyes
5. Bloom Overture
6. When The Bloom Has Left The Rose
7. So Long, Marianne
8. Praying For Rain
9. This Thing Won’t Fly
10. Hush Money
11. Electrical Storms In Berlin
12. In The Meantime

This quite stunningly opulent new album opens on the fractured guitar work of Cheap Perfume and the Nick Cave’s Bad Seeds-esque Love The Sinner, before unleashing the dazzlingly magnificent, rich and smooth, trumpet-imbibed first single Karen Don’t Be Sad, the smoky, late night jazz club ambiance of Yesterdays Eyes, the achingly ornate orchestrations of Bloom Overture and then comes the deeply emotive ala Colin Vearncombe (Black) gem When The Bloom Has Left The Rose.

Up next on this album of ten Moor originals alongside covers of the aforementioned Karen Don’t Be Sad and Leonard Cohen’s So Long, Marianne, is that very same, latter-named track itself and then we get the sweeping elegance of Praying For Rain, with those themselves backed by the mid-tempo free flow of This Thing Won’t Fly, the reverberating guitar crawl of Hush Money, with the album rounding out on the brooding noir appeal of Electrical Storms In Berlin, closing on the countrified Americana of In The Meantime.

“Of everything we’ve done, this is the album of which I’m most proud,” says McKahey. “Considering that Stray Gods was made by Davey in his attic — trading instrumental files with an array of musicians — I think this is our finest hour.”

The sessions for Stray Gods were begun immediately after production wrapped on 2017’s eponymous CousteauX.

At the time, lead vocalist Liam McKahey was spending half of each year in the UK, and the other half with his family in Australia. All of his vocals were recorded in the UK while in the company of Moor, the songwriter/keyboardist of the duo.

Without label support, the album lay dormant until 2020 when Australian filmmaker Brendan Young expressed interest in creating a video for album track When the Bloom Has Left the Rose.

Filmed in impressionistic black & white, the short film features a cabaret star in her waning years confronting the sorrows of aging.

Since its debut last fall, the video has gone on to win 21 international film awards, ten for Best Music Video, including at the London Independent Film Awards.

Official CousteauX - When the Bloom Has Left the Rose Music Video

“I saw Miley perform Karen Don’t Be Sad on Saturday Night Live in 2015,” explains CousteauX’s Davey Ray Moor. “It was different to the version on her Dead Petz album. It sounded like a classic, and her performance was brave and sincere. The lyric is a sweet thing to communicate to anybody.”

Official CousteauX - Karen Don’t Be Sad Music Video

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