Catatonia were a popular music band from Wales that gained a national following in the United Kingdom in the mid-late 1990s. The band consisted of Cerys Matthews on vocals, Mark Roberts (formerly of Y Cyrff and now member of Sherbet Antlers) and Owen Powell (who is a judge on Wawffactor) on guitar, Paul Jones on bass (formerly of Y Cyrff and now member of Sherbet Antlers), and Aled Richards (who now drums for Amy Wadge) on drums. Roberts was the main songwriter.
Equally Cursed and Blessed USA album cover.Catatonia deliberately tried to make their songs accessible to a broad audience, while at the same time not shying away from original, experimental, or even potentially abrasive sounds. The result was a mix of hooky pop and underground indie rock.
Their songs are characterized by clever lyrics and Matthews's enticing, raspy vocals, which made her something of a sex symbol. Also prominent is her Welsh accent (though this feature is most likely lost on anyone outside the United Kingdom).
The band, in its music, lyrics, and PR, were proudly, or at least happily, Welsh. This, they insisted, should not be taken too seriously, as they are more internationalists than nationalists (hence the name of their 1998 release, International Velvet).
After their rise to fame, it became clear that Matthews was not coping well with the increased pressure, suffering from anxiety and nervous exhaustion which resulted in the cancellation of several concert tours and a deterioration in the relationships between the band members. On September 21, 2001, after the release of a new album Paper Scissors Stone, the band officially split.