Album Reviews

Cock & Swan: Secret Angles

Cock & Swan

Dig deep into the FensePost archives and you’ll discover two things. First is the site’s launch date, which is essentially 666: June 6, 2006. Second is that one of the earliest reviews is that of Cock & Swan‘s Noon Hum EP. Hand packaged with a personal note to KZUU, I talked up the EP for the station then turned around and published this review on June 7 of that year. Next month Cock & Swan return with their third LP, Secret Angles.

In my original review of Noon Hum I noted the following:

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.

This remains true today. However, where shyness was readily apparent in their recordings seven years ago confidence has now bloomed.

Johnny Goss, acting as multi-instrumentalist, brings his beats to life. Songs like “Animal Totem” are meticulous in their electronic-based production. There is great detail, but it’s not overwhelming. Likewise, Ola Hungerford has blossomed from her slightly hunched, somewhat withdrawn youth into a head-up proud vocalist. The songs — and her vocals — are still shrouded in dark, minimalist electronic meets airy, whispery bedroom pop.

But the confidence — THE CONFIDENCE!! — it’s there and it’s blatantly obvious on both accounts. Hear for yourself on “Animal Totem”:

The duo — now happily engaged, I must add — even expands their exploration of experimentation on occasion. “Night Valley” throws down pseudo-double-time trip-hop beats with weird little sampled twists behind Ola’s dreamy, mystical vocals. This experimentation continues on “Looking Out” (among others), while the double-time element is featured elsewhere as well (“Inner Portal”).

On Friday, Cock & Swan premiered their new video for “Melt Down”, which features colorful chemical reactions:

Secret Angles will appear September 10 via Hush Hush Records, a somewhat new Seattle label (founded May 2012) by KEXP DJ Alex Ruder. No Fear of Pop notes that following the digital release next month, a Kickstarer will… kick off… for a hopeful vinyl release.

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