The Best Song You’ve Never Heard: “Kathleen” By Catfish and the Bottlemen

Have you heard a song and wondered why it’s not a huge hit? What about multiple songs from the same band? To me, Catfish and the Bottlemen have been downright disrespected. They have released great song after great song but have yet to take off here in the US.

Formed in Llandudno, Wales in 2007 as The Prestige, the later renamed Catfish and the Bottlemen took over the UK about 7 years later with their debut album The Balcony. Lead singer Van McCann’s lyrics were inspired by everyday life as he literally wrote down what happened and gave songs like “Cocoon” and “Soundcheck” real life emotion.

The music was loud and brash, with a timeless rock sound which had a little bit of a punk edge to it. The Balcony reached number 10 in the UK in 2014, followed by The Ride reaching number 1 in 2016 and The Balance at number 2 in 2019. In 2016, the band won British Breakthrough Act at the Brit Awards. Their music saw a little success in the US, but it just hasn’t reached the same level as in their home country.

“Kathleen” was the first big single for the band and it exemplifies their talent. Van’s heart lives in his lyrics on this song, oscillating between the pleasures and the distresses of a relationship. The instrumentation starts with a straightforward rock jam before breaking out in the chorus with a big sound.

The song is from a young band still finding themselves, but you can also hear their potential.

If you enjoyed this track, take this and past “The Best Song You’ve Never Heard” picks with you via our handy-dandy Spotify playlist here

Jeff is a KXT weekend host and the Manager of Radio Operations for KERA 90.1 and KXT 91.7.

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