Catatonia spent most of its ca-reer being equally out of touch with both the mainstream and the underground. It is with no great anticipation that the band’s singer, Cerys Matthews, releases her solo debut. Despite the low expectations from her previous band (and the tragic title of this album) Cockahoop is excellent. It’s a low-key collection of roughly alt-country songs that thrive in an effortless honesty. Like Jill Barber, Matthews is both a throwback and a step forward in her genre.