Wednesday 12 September 2012

Chris Cohen - Optimist High

Single review by KevW

Until recently Chris Cohen has led the life of an indie-rock journeyman. Born in L.A to a music business executive and a Broadway actress, you could say the entertainment industry is in his blood. Currently based in Vermont, he's been a member of bands including The Curtains, Cryptacize, Deerhoof and Natural Dreams and clocked up album releases into double figures. Not only that, Chris has performed live with bands such as White Magic, Cass McCombs, Haunted Graffiti and Danielson. He surely knows his onions then, and the time has arrived for his to soak up a little bit of the limelight himself, with the release of his debut album 'Overgrown Path' (US release Sept 27th, UK Oct 8th). With so many friends in high places he's surely not going to struggle to drum up a little publicity, but even coming from nowhere this is shaping up to be an album capable of leaving a mark. 

As you may expect, 'Optimist High' is a track that has absorbed genes from many of the artists and bands whose company he's had the pleasure of sharing. This alternative yet poppy, slightly psychedelic but instantly accessible, harmonious and melodic tune would happily rub shoulders with the best his former musical companions have given us. It's the usual instrumentation (piano, guitar, bass, drums) and the usual format, so in that respect there's little to shock or surprise. 'Optimist High''s strength is in the pure and beautiful song itself, Cohen's soft voice feeling a part of the music instead of something that runs over the top of it. It's one of the most inviting 60s-influenced psych-pop tracks to have come from the US indie scene this year. The slightly puzzling video with close-ups of sparkling water, dogs' hair and flowers does little more than confuse, but then confusion can be great to, so if this song is the soundtrack to confusion then it's certain to get a big thumbs up from us!

Chris Cohen's website

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