Photo by Ebru Yildiz
Somehow or another I completely missed that Chris Cohen is releasing his third record with Captured Tracks tomorrow. The self-titled Chris Cohen is the third record in an unofficial cycle that began with 2012s Overgrown Path. So far he’s released four tracks from the album, starting with “Edit Out” back in December of 2018. Since then “Green Eyes”, “Sweet William” and the most recent “No Time To Say Goodbye” have dropped from the ether. As is typical with Chris Cohen, they’re these beautifully ornamented pieces of pop that sound as if they dropped straight from some newly discovered pocket of late 60s psych pop.
It’s hard for me to describe Chris Cohen’s sound. Like I said before, 60s psych pop is part of it. But there’s a certain eloquence in Cohen’s brand of melancholy that is quite unique. It’s as if the pastoral and nostalgic music world of The Kinks Village Green Preservation Society had been produced by Rudy Van Gelder for a Blue Note session. There’s a very jazzy feel to Cohen’s work. Jazz mixed with nostalgic melancholy.
Having said that, his newest single “No Time To Say Goodbye” is like the 70s jazz lite version of that. His sound has opened up significantly with this song; bright saxophone, dreamy synths, and what sounds like flanged guitar gives the song a modern-ish sound, as opposed to Cohen’s typical tight, shadowed hard bop jazz pop. It’s a significant sonic change, and one that stands out from the previous released singles from Chris Cohen.
If you’re not familiar with Chris Cohen, you should get familiar with him. I think he’s a national treasure. He played on all the early Deerhoof records that mattered, and I truly feel he’s a touched soul. His music feels like the essence of longing. It’s a beautiful puzzle you never quite figure out, but love every minute trying to get to the meaning.
Chris Cohen drops tomorrow, 3/29, via Captured Tracks. Preorder the album here, and check out “No Time To Say Goodbye”, as well as his previously released singles below.