Today, Chris Cohen announces his new self-titled album to be released March 29th. His third solo album was written and recorded in his Lincoln Heights studio and at Tropico Beauties in Glendale, California over the course of the last two years. Cohen would sing melodies into his phone, fleshing them out on piano, then constructing songs around the melodies, and later, adding lyrics and other instrumentation with the help of Katy Davidson (Dear Nora), Luke Csehak (Happy Jawbone Family Band), Zach Phillips, and saxophonist Kasey Knudsen, among others. It is his most straightforward album yet, but it is also the conclusion of an unofficial cycle that began with Overgrown Path.
“My parents got divorced while I was making this record,” he says. “They were married for 53 years and my father spent most of his life in the closet, hiding both his sexual identity and various drug addictions. For me it was like being relieved of a great burden, like my life could finally begin.” It is this sense of truth and freedom that is woven into the very fabric of the record even as it grapples with complicated emotions. “I hoped that by writing about what was closest to me at the time, I might share something of myself and where I came from,” Cohen says.
Though the album is undeniably part of the framework that made up his previous two records [Overgrown Path and As If Apart] — Chris Cohen is also a thoughtful, accomplished meditation on life and family, backed by dusky instrumentation influenced by the late evening beauty of Pat Metheny’s Falcon and the Snowman soundtrack, and Thomas Dolby’s Golden Age of Wireless. It’s beautiful, but it’s also unflinching in its depiction of emotional turmoil.
Chris Cohen is an album about accepting loss. Of the new single “Green Eyes,” Cohen says, “[It’s about] the men in my family and how they passed their worldview along to each other from great emotional distances. My father and grandfather were full of secrets and longing, which were communicated through everyday actions like driving a car or cooking a meal. We all wanted closeness, but never found it in each other.” This is a statement about a specific song, but it is also a statement about the album as a whole: Chris Cohen is not so much autobiographical as it is multi-generational.
Chris Cohen Tour Dates:
04/01 – Tucson, AZ – Hotel Congress
04/02 – Albuquerque, NM – Sister Bar
04/04 – Austin, TX – The Mohawk
04/05 – Houston, TX – The Satellite
04/07 – Atlanta, GA – The Earl
04/08 – Nashville, TN – The End
040/9 – Asheville, NC – The Mothlight
04/11 – Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brendas %
04/13 – New York, NY – National Sawdust
04/14 – Montreal, QC – Le Ministere
04/15 – Toronto, ON – Horseshoe Tavern
04/17 – Chicago, IL – The Hideout
04/19 – Sioux Falls, SD –Total Drag Records
04/23 – Phoenix, AZ – Valley Bar
04/26 – Los Angeles, CA – Lodge Room
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