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Mike Doughty: I Wanted to Separate the Soul Coughing Songs from the Darkness

For Mike Doughty, revisiting songs he wrote in some cases more than 20 years ago felt like walking into a ghost town.

The former frontman for Soul Coughing -- the distinct 1990s alternative band he once described as "deep slacker jazz" -- decided to record an album of reimagined old tunes, freeing them from the past and presenting the music closer to his original vision for the songs.

Soul Coughing's three idiosyncratic albums reached a modest but devoted audience with their blend of hip-hop, jazz, rock and drum 'n' bass, but those were dark personal years for Doughty, who described the band relationship as a bad marriage in his 2012 memoir The Book of Drugs.

So why revisit Soul Coughing now at 43 years old, 15 years after the band's final album and five proper albums into a thriving solo career?