Taken from Tim Cohen’s sixth solo album “You Are Still Here”, out March 10th 2021 via Bobo Integral.
When people muse on the quirky literate songwriter traditions of San Francisco, certain names come to mind. Garcia/ Hunter, Country Joe, Skip Spence, Jonathan Richman; it’s time to add Tim Cohen to the roll call. For more than a decade, Cohen has consistently released woefully under-the-radar albums of wry, intelligent, romantic pop songs. Each of his musical personalities (The Fresh & Onlys, Magic Trick) has evolved from charming bedroom shamble to fully realized studio endeavor, and finally his eponymous musical efforts have caught up with the others.
“You are Still Here” is a taut, suspenseful collection of dynamic, timeless songs. Ranging from the reluctantly hopeful Rhodes-driven gospel of “Rage On” to the psychedelic kraut bombast of “Dadaist Friend”, the album was recorded over three week-long sessions at Crown Lanes (Denver, CO) with Cohen’s longtime collaborator James Barone (Beach House) behind the boards and the drum kit. Handing over production duties to Barone allowed the full range of both artists’ talents to shine, and the result is polished and sonically satisfying, yet somehow still slightly deranged and “outsider”.
Cohen’s vocal melodies have never been stronger, now bolstered by horn flourishes (Andrew Byars) and the lush choral vocals of Noelle Fiore (Magic Trick). Dramatic choruses give way to pensive quietude with ease, and the journey is narrated expertly by the various keyboards of Connor Birch (Flaural). Barone’s keen ear and Cohen’s more focused songwriting approach are a magical marriage. The result “You are Still Here”, is a great opportunity for us to return to the art of album listening.