Tuesday, September 11, 2012

12 O'Clock Track: Chris Cohen, "Optimist High"

Posted By on 09.11.12 at 12:00 PM

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Chris Cohen is mostly a drummer, but over the years he's proved himself adept at many instruments in numerous contexts. He's still probably best known for his 2001-'06 stint with Bay Area art-pop band Deerhoof, who have a show at Schubas on September 22; he played guitar and sometimes bass on killer albums such as Apple O, Milk Man, and Runners Four. More recently he's made a couple records with Nedelle Torrisi as Cryptacize, and he's also served in the touring bands of White Magic, Cass McCombs, Haunted Graffiti, and Danielson. In 2006 he released a terrific album called Calamity (Asthmatic Kitty) that's billed to the Curtains, which started as a band with Trevor Shimizu in 2000 and evolved into what was essentially a solo project (and paved the way for the sweet-and-sour sounds he explored with Torrisi).

On September 25 the LA native, who now lives in rural Vermont, is releasing his first album under his own name via Captured Tracks. Cohen played everything on Overgrown Path, and it features some of the prettiest, most straightforward pop-rock he's ever made. I've only had time to listen to the album a couple of times, but some of the songs have already lodged themselves in my brain—and the second spin revealed all kinds of subtle instrumental details I'd missed the first time. I'm looking forward to the third listen. Today's 12 O'Clock Track is a characteristically sunny Overgrown Path number called "Optimist High."

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