John Grant Talks with CMAT on the Talkhouse Podcast

"The worst of human society comes out to tell me that I'm a big fat ugly c--- and I should die!"

On this week’s Talkhouse Podcast we’ve got two songwriters whose music bursts with personality, but in oddly different ways: CMAT and John Grant.

CMAT is the stage name/alter ego of Ciara Mary-Alice Thompson, who’s already hit it pretty big in her native Ireland with funny, frank, and flamboyant songs about break-ups and time travel and everything in between, I guess you might say. She was recently nominated for a BRIT Award for Best International Artist—she wore a jaw-dropping dress to the ceremony—and her second album, Crazymad, For Me went to number one in her home country as well. Now she’s ready to take on the States a bit, to see if her music—queer-friendly, over-the-top pop—can make as big a splash here. Check out “Where are Your Kids Tonight,” which features today’s other guest John Grant, and catch CMAT on tour in the US right now. Dates are at

John Grant is a tough guy to explain: On the surface, his music can sound like party-friendly electro-pop, but the themes and lyrics run deep and often pretty intense. Grant started out in the Denver band The Czars, but it wasn’t until he spread his wings as a solo artist—starting with 2010’s Queen of Denmark, which he made with help from members of the band Midlake—that he really found his unique voice. Since then it’s been a series of fascinating records with a series of fascinating collaborators, including Cate Le Bon, who produced his 2021 album Boy From Michigan. Grant just announced the release of his sixth album, The Art of The Lie. It comes out in June, and it promises a no-punches-pulled look at America in 2024, yet with some funk to help ease the medicine. Check out the song “It’s a Bitch” right here, and you can pre-order the whole record at

In this conversation, Grant and CMAT have pretty dissimilar demeanors—she’s brash, he’s a more quiet sort of intense—but it works: Clearly these two are fans of each other’s work, as you’ll see, and they have a great chat about language, the ugliness of social media—especially for queer and/or female artists—and CMAT’s ass crack, which was “pixelated by the Daily Mail.” Enjoy.

Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to John Grant and CMAT for chatting. If you liked what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting platform, and check out all the goodness at This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time!

(Feature photos courtesy of the artists, edited by Keenan Kush.)

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