It’s always a drag when one of your favorite bands hardly gets as much recognition as you think they should. It’s even sadder when, with just two LPs under their belt, they decide to call it quits. But alas, this is the story of YELLOWBIRDS, the brainchild of astute musician SAM COHEN, who started the project recording songs in his apartment in what what he claimed was a “disparate” attempt at making music. But it evolved into much more.
The music is somewhat an assemblage of all things old and good in pop music, blending folk, rock and soul in a unique psychedelic melange. After assembling a band of sit-in musicians for Yellowbirds debut album, 2011's TheColor, he was able to get a more permanent full-time cast comprised of close friends for the second. Though TheColor is certainly nothing to shake a stick at and consists of beautifully crafted songs, the chemistry of Cohen's newly assembled band on Songs From the Vanished Frontier (2013) is palpable. The songs hit harder and the aesthetic of the album is more honed.
Outside of his own songs and bands, Sam Cohen maintains an eccentric portfolio to boot. He’s been a studio musician with fucking SHAKIRA, the musical director of a recreation of THE BAND’s The Last Waltz (Nels Cline of Wilco played Bob Dylan), and recently has toured as a guitarist with new found soul man, CHARLES BRADLEY. The dude plays pedal steel, for chrissake.
So why are we praising this man and all the music he has made when he has hung up the towel? Because he hasn’t. Upon announcing the disbandment of the Yellowbirds project, Sam Cohen has also announced that he will be releasing a solo album in 2015. He just recently debuted a single over at Paste Magazine and you can listen to another one on label Easy Recording’s website. So perk your ears, listen to the old, and get ready for the new.
Words by one of our trusty interns, Luke Otwell.
That’s Amore is a not-so-new segment on this here blog where we post about music stuff we like. That’s it. We love hearing from our friends, so tell us what new bands or artists you’re digging on in the comments section. If a song you recommend to us ends up on the blog, you’ll get TWO FREE tickets to the show of your choice at the Empty Bottle. Cool!