Album Reviews

Cock And Swan: Noon Hum EP [Album Review]

Cock And Swan by Angel Ceballos

I listen to at least ten new albums each week. With that amount of exposure, it can be difficult to discern one artist from another, the next album from the last. Despite such audible clutter, I review little electronic music. Here’s an exception. Cock and Swan are Johnny and Ola. They record in Bothell, Washington—just north of Seattle. They liken themselves to Mum, Boards of Canada, and Dntel. They just finished recording their first album, Noon Hum EP, and will release it on their own startup label titled Dandelion Gold.

Noon Hum EP is packed with electronic beats and trance-like hums. Ola’s vocals are sweet but eerie, adding to the dark sound that fills the album. The mixing is prime—just listen to Ola’s vocals and the backing drums in “One Hundred.” Repetitive vocals, while detracting from many songs, create a mellow atmosphere amidst the heavy drums and soft clarinet in “Holding On.” Johnny jumps in with backing vocals in “Lets Go” while Ola’s vocals echo around the primary mix. While the strongest songs are the ones that include vocals, instrumentals like “Make Believe Music” and “Clarinaughts” stand out distinctly and can be likened to the background music in Ryland Bouchard’s The Robot Ate Me.

Self-released albums and start-up labels are tricky. Without the right amount of publicity done in just the right way a group or label can, more easily than not, be doomed. Yet some groups are able to transcend the publicity requirements on sheer talent. Cock and Swan have the talent. As to whether or not transcendence will occur, only time will tell. As for publicity, I will do my part to spread the word and inform the world of one fascinating electronic band called Cock and Swan.

This review was originally posted June 7, 2006 on the old version of FensePost.

Cock And Swan: One Hundred [mp3]

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Noon Hum EP by Cock And Swan

Dandelion Gold [CDEP, 2006]

1. Hydrogen Horizon
2. Holding On
3. Nice
4. Blurs
5. Make Believe Music
6. Lady Go
7. Make Believe Island
8. Fossa Oyalis
9. One Hundred
10. Clarinaughts
11. Noon Hum
12. Out Of The Way

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