TUE, 19th NOV 2024

7.30pm - 11pm

£14 adv


CHRIS COHEN was always a quiet kid. In fact, this introversion was one reason he began playing music as a toddler—to communicate without speaking to identify with others without the direct representation of words. It has worked, too, with Cohen’s terrific stint in the mighty Deerhoof and his own captivating art-rock act The Curtains, preceding production and session work for the likes of Weyes Blood, Kurt Vile, Le Ren, and Marina Allen. Somewhere along that long way, Cohen started writing lyrics. He found that, though it didn’t come naturally, the process offered a new sense of self-discovery and reckoning, a way to see himself and the world from unexpected angles. His three twilit albums of casually complicated pop during the last decade radiated these epiphanies: handling family strife, navigating advancing age, and understanding social woes.
But Cohen has never had as much to sing so directly as he does on ‘Paint a Room’, his first album in five years and his debut for Hardly Art. If Cohen’s meanings have previously lurked inside the tessellated musical layers he built alone, they are newly clear and resonant here, animated and underscored for the first time by a band playing in real time. There is the endless miasma of state violence on the subversively melodious opener “Damage,” the existential exhaustion of modernity on the horn-traced jangle “Laughing”. With ‘Paint a Room’, Cohen’s music feels like a warm spring breeze, easy to love and gentle to feel. But it’s often carrying something heavy, as if blowing in from some unseen storm cloud.

Support comes from Large Plants.

LARGE PLANTS is the hauntological fuzz-rock project of Jack Sharp, former singer guitarist from psych-folk luminaries Wolf People. In 2022 the band dropped an acid-rock cover of Madonna’s ‘La Isla Bonita’ on the Ghost Box label, followed swiftly by their debut LP ‘The Carrier’, described by Shindig as “A succinct distillation of folk-rock magnificence”. Now a formidable live act, having toured with Mudhoney and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Large Plants are currently working on their third album.