Soul Coughing Calls It A Day

Innovative New York outfit Soul Coughing, which infused hip-hop, hard rock, freestyle jazz and even slam-style poetry into its eclectic pop brew, has called it quits.

The group, led by gangly singer-songwriter M. Doughty, has "amicably decided to go separate ways" after eight years and three albums (the most recent being 1998's "El Oso").

A farewell statement posted on the band's Web site on Monday reports that M. Doughty is now focusing on a solo project and has already recorded a single with BT. The singer will also continue as a columnist for the New York weekly "NY Press." Keyboardist Mark De Gli Antoni is now working on a new record from his band Horse Tricks and will also score an IMAX film. Meanwhile bassist Sebastian Steinberg (who just finished touring with Beth Orton) will continue collaborating with Soul Coughing drummer Yuval Gabay on their project UV Ray.

"This is not an end, but rather a new beginning for all," the statement reads. "The band

would like to sincerely thank their fans for all the support they have received over the years. They hope that this enthusiasm follows them into the new endeavors that they are exploring."

The news of the band's demise comes in the wake of perhaps its biggest commercial success and its highest level of mainstream exposure courtesy of "Circles," the breakthrough single from "El Oso."