‘As If Apart’ by Chris Cohen (Album)

6 May, 2016 in Music Reviews

Chris Cohen

Chris Cohen: as if he has lifted his head slightly and freaked out about the landscape around him. Pic: Kate Dollenmayer

Four years on from his last release, the second album from the Californian multi-instrumentalist and songwriter is worth the wait

Chris Cohen 'As If Apart' album coverFour years after the soft amber glow of Overgrown Path charmed critics and listeners alike, Chris Cohen returns with a new album, As If Apart. Though clearly a descendant of his last record, and his earlier work with The Curtains, there’s also a clear progression here. It’s as if the Californian songwriter has lifted his head slightly and freaked out about the landscape around him.

It begins with Torrey Pine, a bleary love song which collapses in on itself midway through. The title track is another disorientating leap into Cohen’s world, accompanied by mildly threatening synth sounds. Both In A Fable and The Lender pick up the pace, providing a counterpoint to the meandering tones of Drink From A Silver Cup and Sun Has Gone Away. At the album’s centre is the astral waltz of Needle And Thread, bringing together all the other strands as it skips along its unsteady path.

Multi-instrumentalist Cohen plays everything on the album and maybe that’s why, despite its warped first impression, it ends up feeling like a natural coalescence. Just like its creator’s vocals, As If Apart is an album that is hard to pin down, but wholly satisfying to get lost in.

Verdict: Equally welcoming and unsettling alt-pop

Duncan Haskell