“We’d like to make records like Neil Young makes records,” The Coral’s multi-instrumentalist Nick Power told this writer. “To put albums out when we want to and not care about fashion or trends, then do the next album in exactly the same way.”
The Coral, it could be argued, have been doing that since Day One. Their 2002 eponymous debut, with its commitment to 60s-referencing composition (The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, The La’s, Teardrop Explodes) balanced daydreamy pop with the maverick, set The Coral on their path of adventure and galvanised a disenchanted and disenchanting British indie scene. Six albums down the line, the John Leckie-produced Butterfly House, their first since guitarist Bill Ryder Jones left in 2008, continues to set the benchmark high. A thing of true wonderment, it’s shimmering, beatific multi-coloured coats of guitars and vocal harmonies – think The Everly Brothers, Byrds, Crosby, Stills & Nash – dress songs that primarily concern themselves with the demystification process. A comment on society that’s lost its belief in magic, songs such as 1,000 Years, Two Faces, Roving Jewel and the title cut provide further proof there’s a restorative power and romance to be found in pop. It’s clear The Coral still believe, and this is a genuine contender for 2010 album of the year.