Ora Cogan - Crickets

by Ljubinko Zivkovic Rating:8 Release Date:2017-11-03
Ora Cogan - Crickets
Ora Cogan - Crickets

Strange this one, the new Ora Cogan album Crickets, in a very not so strange way. Why? As usual, names are dropped as comparisons. The press release starts off with the Sixties/Seventies folk legend Karen Dalton (Cogan herself mentions her as inspiration in an interview) and then follows with some of her touring friends like Grouper and Hope Sandoval. Basically a mixture of Americana and psychedelic dreamscapes, which is a bold claim, and the opener “Sea People”, hints at something else; a Kate Bush/ Juliana Barwick combination with an electronic background. No Americana or folk in the ear range (well, maybe in traces), but with some nice musical merits. But then, when “The Light” and “Moonbeam” come your way, you do start getting all the mentioned connections. And not only that you get it, but you realize that Cogan has turned all this into a very personal blend, with a quite unique and characteristic voice.

The title song and “Darling” do give you that Americana/folk feel, but then Cogan again gives it quite a personal touch, without strictly sticking to any truly recognisable genre. No psychedelia so far you might say. Well then comes “Wind In The Waves” one of the many highlights on this album, where Cogan’s vocals get backed by modern psychedelic washes of sound Thom Yorke would be proud of. “Witch” is yet another Karen Dalton/Kate Bush style ballad where glockenspiel and a cowbell have a prominent backing role, turning into a string/zither finish(!). Nice, to say the least. The closer “Anything” starts of as a standard folkie tune, but then brings in some interesting vocal and string changes. No letdown from Ora.

In the mentioned interview Cogan said that she has no specific process of constructing and recording her albums and that Crickets was conceived in practically one go while she was spending time alone on Vancouver Island. Whatever she did, by the evidence of this album, she came up with some quite nice ideas, blending all her inspirations in a very personal statement that keeps on growing on you the more you listen to it. And that is the best way to go.

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