Alpha Cat is the musical project of Elizabeth McCullough that came together when she started writing songs some of which would become the 1999 EP Real Boy. The latter began as demos produced by McCullough’s friend, Television bassist Fred Smith and it enjoyed attention in the national charts for six weeks. The follow-up release Pearl Harbor had some unfortunate timing with the image of a bomb on the cover when it landed in October 2001 yet did well on college radio early the following year. But then, as happens with many people, McCullough went through and ended an unfortunate relationship and in April 2006 she started working on 15 instrumental tracks for what was to be her next album Venus Smile. With seven vocal tracks complete by summer McCullough lost her voice and fell into a dark place emotionally and psychologically and wouldn’t return to that music for over a decade. After hospitalization and various treatments McCullough in recent years engaged in a form of therapy to get to the root cause of the trauma that had run throughout her life. Starting in 2019 she has also revisited the finished recordings for Venus Smile and is now releasing the material in segments that make sense and work as a piece including the 2019 album Thatched Roof Glass House and the newly issued Venus Smile EP out now on Aquamarine Records. In this interview McCullough and I discuss her life and career thus far and the path through the sometimes unpredictable perils of mental health struggle and a culture that helps to exacerbate and perpetuate them.
Listen to the interview on Bandcamp linked below and connect with McCullough at the links provided where you can purchase the music as well.