The glowing strength of female role-models cascades over My Madonna, the latest, serotonin-slinging single from The Coral guitarist, Paul Molloy’s forthcoming, debut solo album, The Fifth Dandelion. Reliably showing the way to the ‘straight and narrow’ if the masculine mind gets stuck at the lights, the influence of mothers, partners, sisters and daughters finds both melodic and poetic tribute in the deeply personal ode to Molloy’s guiding lights.
A masterpiece in video form also arrives in support of the single, featuring cut-out animations of the musician himself, landing in a colourful, Gilliam-esque otherworld. Molloy appears as a rocket-riding space explorer and valiant knight in the short film, with he and his partner, Fiona Skelly, painstakingly hand-cutting each illustration, before animation duties were taken over by esteemed filmmaker, Dom Foster.
Tripping from the keys as if divining inspiration, not only from an expansive range of sonic and literary influences, but a space of spiritual strength, Molloy’s piano-driven composition found its vibrant sense of life at a time of grief. Happily hemmed in between the first flushes of love and the enduring influence of the mother he’d just lost, Molloy’s feelings for the women that make the man spilled out, as one entered his life just as the other left.
Following the spectacular ray of morning sunshine that was his debut single, Dungaree Day, listeners will be soothed once more by Molloy’s easy melodies and glinting instrumentation, with My Madonna pursuing Molloy’s baroque pop sound cut with Strawberry Fields Mellotron accents and the acerbic, picture-painting lyricism of Bob Dylan and Ray Davies.
Molloy says: “’My Madonna’ is really about my girlfriend, written when we first started going out, a piano ode to all that’s good about her. Then, my mum died and the piano in her house was where I practiced those parts, before recording them in that room on a portable 8-Track. So, it took on the memory of my mum too, who was a huge music fan. She supported me in following this path, encouraging me to stay determined.”