Wednesday, Oct 04 2006 | 12:44

Finally the long awaited solo project of Franz Ferdinand’s musical mastermind Nick McCarthy is being released! Box Codax is a project by him and his longtime friend Alexander Ragnew.

Their debut album “Only An Orchard Away” is a collection of songs, often romantic and whimsically nostalgic, at other times scrappy and punky: this is an honest and genuine collection of witty Pidgin English lyricism, dark humour and the award-winning songwriting of a pop genius presented out of context in these lo-fi recordings.

“Only An Orchard Away” has a sharp old school electronic feel, from DIY electro hip hop to DEVO, European folk and Leonard Cohen, but with Alexander’s haunting tones, it is always distinctively Box Codax.

It has taken a long time to pull the Box Codax album together – no wonder really, considering that one of the guys is a reclusive writer and the other a heavily touring musician.

Nick’s musical career took him to study classical double bass and piano at the conservatory in Munich/Germany. After his studies he moved to Glasgow and started Franz Ferdinand with Alex Kapranos. Alexander Ragnew is a poet and lyricist; born in Germany, he now lives in Toulouse.

The result of their work is now being released not as you might expect on a major label, but on Germany’s small but much acclaimed indie company Gomma. It would have been easy for a superstar like Franz F’s guitar player to get a deal with a major company, but Nick has known the Gomma guys for years and preferred to work with a more advanced underground label known for discovering fresh, innovative acts like Headman, Munk and WhoMadeWho.

The first single release is the song “Naked Smile”. Featuring a remix by Jonny Wilkes from Glasgow’s Optimo (aka Naum Gabo) and one from 2006’s hottest new producers, Metronomy, who tackles the track with a 6/8 rhythm and prog rock keys.

Sounding like a dream collaboration between Malcolm McLaren and David Byrne, its 80s synth bass and geeked out vocals will get everybody moving.Dazed and Confused

The album Box CodaxOnly An Orchard Away” (Gomma) has been released on September 29, 2006.

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