Cat Ryan: Reigning supreme with debut EP ‘King of the World’

"The EP title found its inspiration in this song, as ‘rex mundi‘ translates to ‘king of the world’ from Latin"
20 December 2023

Cat Ryan, the indie quartet from Newcastle, presents their long-awaited debut EP, King of the World. Renowned for their unique fusion of indie-rock and pop, this five-track bliss signals their ascent to the forefront of the burgeoning indie music scene.

Led by the magnetic and multi-talented Mary-Anne Murphy, Cat Ryan has been carving a unique niche in the indie landscape. Their earlier singles, including the acclaimed Mannerism, provided a preview of the sonic delights found in King of the World. The EP showcases the band’s most comprehensive work to date, with the energetic and empowering single Rex Mundi leading the charge. This anthemic track addresses social injustice through the compelling narrative of a greyhound breaking free from its chains.

Driven by Mary-Anne’s soulful vocals and songwriting prowess, King of the World presents an eclectic mix of melodic innovation and thematic depth. Cat Ryan’s signature sound, characterized by robust melodies, infectious hooks, and musical experimentation, draws inspiration from the likes of Vampire Weekend and Hippo Campus. The carefully crafted lyricism explores thought-provoking themes, adding a profound dimension to the infectious indie/alt-pop backdrops.

The band reflects on the EP, stating, “‘King of the World’ holds a deeply personal significance as it features some of the earliest songs written by Mary-Anne back in 2017 for the project. Now, after years of evolution as an artist, these songs have been revisited, reworked, and recorded, reflecting the true and diverse essence of our style.”

Standout tracks on the EP include Rex Mundi, an impactful anthem, and innovative tracks like Speeding Too Slow‘ and Daydream. Speeding Too Slow showcases the depth of Cat Ryan’s sonic palette, weaving explosive guitar-led moments with shimmering synths and infectious pop-influenced vocal lines.

Cat Ryan’s unique brand of Indie-Pop/Gaze has garnered acclaim, earning them spots on BBC Radio 1, Radio X, and BBC Radio 6 Music. The band has graced prominent festival stages at Truck Festival and the main stage at Y NOT Festival, in addition to opening for Sundara Karma.

Cat Ryan’s debut EP, King of the World, is set to captivate new audiences and establish them as a significant presence in the indie music scene.

Cover art by Bethan Harris

According to Mary-Anne Murphy, a detailed exploration of each track:

1. Speeding Too Slow
“‘Speeding Too Slow’ navigates the complexities of a potential romantic relationship hampered by life’s rapid pace combined with their inability to express their feelings. It explores the complexities of missed chances and the irony of being ‘too little, too late’, however, the story’s ambiguity towards the end indicates that there may still be hope. Through experimentation with various instruments combined with the jig-like rhythm, the song possesses a playful and upbeat character.”

2. Rex Mundi
“‘Rex Mundi’ reflects our lyrical storytelling style and embodies an energetic narrative told from the perspective of a greyhound trying to break free from his constraints. The EP title found its inspiration in this song, as ‘rex mundi‘ translates to ‘king of the world’ from Latin. The fast-paced nature of the music was intended to reflect the essence of Rex Mundi the greyhound.”

3. Interlude
“An experimental piece created in 2018, initially not intended for Cat Ryan’s collection. However, its inclusion in the EP serves to introduce a sense of mystery and intrigue, offering an instrumental break in the narrative midway through the release.”

5. Lost My Connection
“Detailing the breakdown of a long-distance relationship, this song resonates with the challenges of modern relationships mediated through digital connections. The sad undertones of this breakup story are masked by the uplifting melodies throughout the music, which are reflective of the individual’s desire to make light of the situation and carry hope for a happier future.”

6. Daydream
“Daydream delves into intense themes of love that are accompanied by personal insecurities within the relationship. Similar to some of the other tracks on the EP, this has a variety of melodies with shoegaze-influenced sounds, however, through this track, I aimed to showcase a mellower sound with an emotionally resonant tone.”

Photo by Will Copley