The Los Angeles-based recording artist, singer-songwriter, and producer Eddie Cohn releases a new and compelling 9-track album entitled 'Dystopian Days.'
Eddie Cohn is known for his attention-commanding and exciting performances; his powerful vocals have led him down countless paths to sharpen his craft. No matter what endeavor he gets himself into, Cohn strives for one thing and only thing only, human connection. Cohn wants us to get off our phones, out of our heads, and learn from each other and our surroundings.
Recently releasing his 9-track album, 'Dystopian Days,' the album kicks off with the introductory track, "Broken Pieces." The song opens with a bright, upbeat, and bold electronic drum beat that later transitions into an organic drum arrangement with feel-good alt-rock instrumentals. As Eddie Cohn makes his exciting and energetic vocal appearance, he opens the track by reminding us that humans are no more than broken pieces, roaming this plane to find our purpose. As he makes his way to the outro, the sonics and instrumentals carry the song with a certain kind of energy that's equally as exhilarating as it is dense.
Onto track number two, "Freedom," the song opens on this mysterious and almost jazzy note with unique percussion arrangements that shake through our speakers with an alluring approach. As Eddie Cohn's haunting and raspy vocals make their appearance, he sinks into rather introspective lyrics of wondering where his freedom is while calling on the world at large to ask, "where is OUR freedom"? We love the minimal and airy instrumentals within this piece, especially as Eddie Cohn continues his powerful performance while reminding us to cherish the freedom we're given.
Getting groovy with the next track, "Underwater," the song opens with yet another unique and mysterious drum arrangement that brings us nothing but soul and passion. As the deep bass licks begin to seep through our speakers, so do Eddie Cohn's low and savory vocal stylings. Listening to his lyricism, he offers another reflective theme of feeling held down by life's trials and tribulations, but he'll never stop trying to beat these forces and prove them wrong. This song is incredibly raw; it brings us flavors of grunge and alternative to make for a gripping listening experience.
Slowing it down with the next track, "Animals," the song begins like a fairytale with haunting string arrangements, whispery drum breaks, tappy percussion, and glimmering effects that rain down from above. We love Eddie Cohn's passionate vocal approach with this hit, especially as he encourages us to summon all the courage we can and become in tune with our primal and animalistic instincts. This song sounds like a piece inspired by courage and confidence; Eddie Cohn and his spacey instrumentals remind us that we're only as strong as our weakest link.
Landing on the album's halfway point with the fifth track, 'What Do You Want From Me," this song takes off with an energetic drum arrangement and lively bass licks that get us moving and grooving. If there's anything we appreciate about Eddie Cohn's album thus far, it's his soulful and inclusive approach to songwriting that brings any listener smack-dab in the middle of his complex lyrical themes. Especially in this track, Eddie Cohn attempts to shake the answers out of someone while wondering what the hell they want from him.
Reaching the sixth and title track, "Dystopian Days," the song kicks off with a more intriguing and minimal sonic approach through short percussion bursts and an eerie keyboard melody. As Eddie Cohn joins the party with his low and mysterious vocals, the song's energy begins to pick up with lively drum breaks and a plucky bassline to up the atmosphere. Eddie Cohn's lyrical content offers a more blunt and straightforward concept about living so much for the exterior world where one forgets to check in on themself. The instrumentals in this track are top tier; from transition to transition, Eddie Cohn truly leaves us hooked.
Diving into an emotional theme is the next track, "Be The Flame," which opens with a bright and distant piano melody alongside shaker-like drums that dance through our speakers with grace and elegance. As Eddie Cohn begins to portray his past desire and passion for an ex-lover, his instrumentals tell a similar sonic story that's equally as exciting as Cohn's vocal performance. This song holds the most power and passion we've heard on the album, especially towards the outro where Eddie Cohn's vocals melt our speakers alongside his wailing instrumentals.
Upping the energy is the eighth track, "Runaway," which begins with an 80s-style drum arrangement alongside beaming synth melodies that spark life and passion. Eddie Cohn later joins in and explains how he's given up on pleasing the exterior world while striving to run away from the chaos that society can offer. This song also holds various instrumental transitions that not only up the energy but keep us hooked on each dynamic tempo change and switch-up. The energy of this song is infections, and to be quite honest, Eddie Cohn gives us the motivation to make our great escape.
Reaching the album's final and outro track, "Kill Silently," Eddie Cohn also released a stunning and haunting lyric video which you can find here. The song itself is as ominous and chilling as the title; Eddie Cohn and his spacey instrumentals/production crash our speakers with a conceptual theme of the world's perpetual state of sorrow and misery that's masked by fake smiles and deception. This is the perfect way to close out such a conceptual album, especially as Eddie Cohn and his exhilarating sonics carry us on a cloud of introspection that's needed now more than ever.
Experience the gripping sounds and intense lyrical themes of Eddie Cohn's latest 9-track album, 'Dystopian Days,' now available on all digital streaming platforms.
A warm welcome to BuzzMusic Eddie Cohn, and congratulations on the release of your 9-track album, 'Dystopian Days.' What inspired you to create this record? What concept did you want to bring to the table?
Well first off, thank you again for inviting me to be a part of Buzzmusic and wanting to share my music and some of the stories behind my new record. I can't wait for people to discover this new album. Truthfully, this record was a joy to bring to life. It re-connected me with old friends and was the perfect backdrop and escape from the crazy world that enveloped our lives in 2020. It was early in 2020 when the pandemic took over when I initially felt inspired to produce and record a new record. It had been over 5 years since I recorded an album but I felt like I had no choice but to sit down and write songs. With the pandemic, the protests, the fires in Southern California, the lockdown orders, and the ongoing mandates, I felt deep levels of anxiety. It felt like a Cormac McCarthy novel or the backdrop of a new science fiction film except it was harrowingly real. I wanted to try and capture all of those feelings of fear, anxiety, and dystopia into one record. I remember thinking to myself a few months ago if by the time this record comes out, will our world resemble more of a utopian world, but surprisingly, it oddly often looks like the world has gotten even more bizarre and unpredictable. It's sort of this strange psychological warfare going on where truth doesn't seem to matter, the division is on the rise and as people are forced to rely more heavily on technology, I often wonder if people en masse have the ability to think objectively or take pause and question what is going on in the world.
Was there a moment or experience that inspired you to write the introspective and emotional lyrical content for your intro track, "Broken Pieces?"
"Broken Pieces" was actually the last song I wrote for the record. I felt like the album needed one more uptempo rock song so I started coming up with these new drum loops and synth lines that really resonated with me. I then came up with this concept of thinking about human beings as broken fragments or broken little pieces of glass. I remember watching the news one night and it almost felt like the newscasters enjoy criticizing human beings or they revel in pointing out our faults. And then I thought, maybe if we became a little more comfortable with the idea that we all have issues, we all have problems, we're all broken in one way or another if we could be more sensitive around that idea, I think we'd be much more empathetic towards people's "problems."
How does the outro track, "Kill Silently," coincide with the story and theme throughout your album, 'Dystopian Days?'
"Kill Silently" was actually the only song on the record that wasn't written during the last 18 months. I wrote it maybe 10 or 15 years ago during a pretty emotionally dark time period. I wrote it around the time I was making my second record but it never saw the light of day. I was scrolling through an old hard drive this last year when I saw that song and decided to open up the session. The vocals were rough and I didn't like the direction of the instrumentation but I was immediately drawn towards the lyrics and how topical and resonant they still felt. It's hard to put into words, but there are those moments in songwriting when you're in the midst of coming up with new ideas and you instinctively sort of let a song go and move on or you feel a connection to sculpt and refine it. Jake Reed added the drums, I sang the vocal and just kept building and producing the song until it felt like it belonged on the record. It feels like the perfect "last song." I was really struggling over the last two years with the onslaught of violence happening in our culture. Maybe we've always had these tendencies but it feels like there's an overabundance and tendency for a culture to behave more violently. With all the violence in movies, video games, and the news media, have we become numb to it? And this idea of "killing silently" where it's done and no one seems to care and we just move on to the next headline. It certainly feels like the value of human life has been diminished over the last year or two.
What does the album 'Dystopian Days' mean to you? How does it reflect your current perspective on life and what you believe?
This record was one of the most cathartic and mind-expanding experiences of my life. I think oftentimes, from bad experiences, we can create something beautiful and to me, this record was a culmination of me coming to terms with the strange world we all live in right now. In the middle of 2020, many of my friends lost jobs, we were forced to stay home, we were forced to wear masks even outdoors and stay indoors. Now, we're seemingly being forced to get a vaccine to be a part of everyday life. Bizarre times but through these experiences, I felt deeply inspired to sing and write about this chaotic, confusing, and even historical time period. The problem is we live in a world now where if you say the wrong thing, your life could be upended so knowing all of that, I tried to walk that fine line of using allegory and symbolism to share my perspective on what I see going on. I also wanted to make a record, while thematically dark and dreary, that also rocks, is percussive and moves, and is overwhelmingly thought-provoking and beautiful at the same time. Not an easy task, but I think we came close to creating a record that really signifies the times we live in.
What do you want your audience to experience when listening to the album 'Dystopian Days?' What did you want them to take away from the project?
It feels like it's harder now than ever before to get people's attention but I hope people can find the time to turn off the TV, turn off the phone, put on some headphones, and truly submerge themselves into the world of Dystopian Days. The band and I really put a lot of thought into the sounds and the mix and we tried to create a 360-degree sonic experience where you truly feel like you're living inside the music or in a science fiction movie. I hope listeners think about how the world has shifted so dramatically in just two years. I hope this record asks some of the more difficult questions about the people who are in charge and I hope this record inspires people to ask themselves if they like the direction we're headed or maybe it's time to make some changes. Maybe it's time to turn off the phone, question the news media's intentions, listen to each other more often, reach out to loved ones and be a more active participant in our day-to-day lives. I see a world that looks as though more people are passive, sitting at home staring at screens, numbing out, and isolating themselves and I hope this record inspires the opposite sort of behavior. More love, empathy, and activity.