Image: the coral press shot

The Coral’s past speaks volumes having sold over a million UK albums since their debut EP release in 2001, five of those hitting the top ten, including the chart-topping Magic and Medicine (2003) and eight top 40 singles. Without so much as a glance over their shoulder, James Skelly (vocals/guitars), Ian Skelly (drums/percussion/vocals), Nick Power (keyboard/vocals), Paul Duffy (bass/keyboards/vocals) and Paul Molloy (guitars) stride into the future to fortify their indefinable position in modern music. There are no full stops in The Coral’s story, but their return with a seventh album, Distance Inbetween in 2016 turns a distinct new page within it after an unapologetic five year hiatus. Picking up the band’s story from the release of 2010’s Butterfly House, theirs is a tale of uninterrupted individual creativity punctuated by the surprise release of their lost album, The Curse of Love (2014).

A collective for whom permanence is defined by bonds stronger than music, The Coral encouraged each other to go exploring alone after a relentless decade of activity. James Skelly wrote and recorded Love Undercover (2013), establishing his Skeleton Key record label and producing songs for bands including Blossoms, Sundowners and She Drew The Gun. Nick Power revealed literary talents with a book called Small Town Chase (2013); Ian Skelly found a kindred spirit in Paul Molloy (formerly of The Zutons) forming Serpent Power and Paul Duffy turned to soundtrack composition. Founding member, Lee Southall continues his own personal and artistic journeys separately while The Coral regroup, leaving his foot in the door for when his ambitions have been fulfilled elsewhere.

Their new album, Distance Inbetween was recorded at Parr Street Studio in Liverpool with co-producer Richard Turvey, a thrilling new talent and wide-eyed emergent master of studio techniques, within whom The Coral found a trusted and fearless collaborator. Additional sounds were laid down at the Coral Caves that reside at an undisclosed location beside the Mersey, with the album also featuring contributions from Alfie Skelly (bow on She Runs The River). The album is dedicated to Alan Wills, the band’s early mentor and Deltasonic label boss, who lost his life just months prior to the recording of the record in 2014.