September’s Berlin Must-See | Chris Cohen

Who | Chris Cohen
When | Thursday, September 15
Where | Kantine am Berghain

For fans of: Arthur Russell, Nick Drake, Foxygen

You’ve probably already heard Chris Cohen even if you’ve not heard of him. Most notably a contributing member of San Fran art rock outfit Deerhoof, the LA-based musician has been involved in many projects and bands over the years, albeit often in the background. That changed in 2012 with Overgrown Path, a debut which introduced the masses to his sweetly melancholic melodies gently sung atop 70s piano and electric guitar stylings. Now fast-forward four years to this past May, when Cohen finally released his sophomore follow-up, As If Apart.

From the get-go, it’s apparent that this release is one that’s steeped in nostalgia. Along with his penchant for that Bryter Layter-era Nick Drake sound and a slight psychedelic twirl, Cohen uses jazz-inspired percussion and chord progressions to take listeners back to another time. Despite that this seems as if it could be rife with over-complication, the end result sounds as effortless as a summer day. As If Apart maintains a great balance between up-tempo jaunts and the more sedate compositions that offer a glimpse of the underlying uneasiness that comes with not quite being able to cope with your here-and-now. These ideas exist in tandem on the comparatively energetic final track, wherein Cohen sings repeatedly, “I’ll give it some time…/But yesterday’s on my mind”—a closer without closure which perfectly sums up an album that yearns for yesteryear on multiple levels.

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