Country Pop Star CMAT Takes Us to California

Country Pop Star CMAT Takes Us to California

By Erica CampbellApr 17, 2024

Fresh off starting a new butt crack trend at the BRIT awards and being nominated as Best International Act, Irish country singer CMAT (Ciara Mary-Alice Thompson) is taking the US by storm.

Her latest album Crazymad, For Me is what she calls “an abstract break-up album about what happens when you’re still angry about something that happened 10 years ago.” The vivid storytelling and sonics that dip into indie and modern country have been a hit with critics thus far, and she promises more slide guitar and “funeral humor” where that came from. “This is music made by a queer Irish person: it’s just gonna have to be funny,” CMAT says. “I feel like a lot of my sense of humor comes from the gays because I’ve never met a gay person that isn't traumatized on some level.”

Vivacious, fun and with camp to boot, the singer-songwriter has been running around historical venues, from desert stays to last-minute set list changes. She gives PAPER an exclusive look at her stop in Pioneertown, California (what better place for a fiery redhead with western-flair and devil may care attitude to perform?). Is this how the West was won? Dig into the photos, below, to find out.

CMAT goes to California! First show in Cali was The Troubadour in LA, a very historic venue for my personal taste in music. Just think, if I had been here 40 years earlier Harry Nilsson would have been doing coke off my tits.

After a quick overnight bus trip, we wake up in sunny, sandy Pioneertown to play Pappy and Harriet’s. Pioneertown is essentially a fake Western town, and to be honest, I can’t think of a more CMAT construct. Can you?

Oh no! I’ve wound up in jail for crimes against Country Music. This isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last.

Photography: Chris Brazier