Cotillon's upcoming record The Afternoons has been long anticipated, that's for sure. Inbetween, brainchild Jordan Corso has found inspiration travelling and relocating to New York. We caught with the sound maverick to talk about the new album and its very Japanese-inspired textures. But that's not all that inspired it, hey Corso? (さあ)
The first notes of Black Sea are enough to capture the mood of Cotillon's upcoming record. The Afternoons is a strange, complex and tender record. But it's tainted by a darkness. More specifically, the sound of someone who is trying to escape the darkness, but is found lingering. Throughout the record Corso's eyes are slowly opening, the air is becoming less oppressive and the scenery becomes more bearable.
"As far as music I don't even know how it happened, it just came out so naturally, as if it already existed in a part of my brain I don't use", shares the singer. The Afternoons is Corso's introspective composition, though at times still punctuated with his more signature punk and electronic rhythms. Once again, Cotillon have managed to reinvent themselves. The record feels like one emotional relief from the swings of addictions, the recoveries, and new sources of inspiration...
"That girl on the artwork is named Alex. I was really inspired by her ambition to get to know the world. She had a crazy amount of energy and just took on NYC relentlessly. I could never keep up with her.
Alex is involved in every song on this record"
No more does this fresh energy come across than on Promises 2. Corso's voice is almost completely buried, as if the vocals were played by a 90's Daft Punk but under water. On SFO there is a phenomenal strutting feedback stagnating in the void; a simple repetitive beat spiraling into orbit with feedback that must go somewhere, at a pressure that gives you the bends. This atmosphere goes on and on. Alex's Room concentrates on the 80's but with Indie Pop placed right up front. Fang is Pavement vs Sarah Records. There's so much going on, the point is, it's still a Cotillon we know but all fused together with a new edge.
Treat The Afternoons somewhat as a showcase for all of the sounds which Jordan is living and breathing everyday. This is a chance to explore Jordan the chaotic, Jordan the melancholic. But there is a new, gentle sense of optimism which Jordan has found. He's got a new inspiration, and with it a new edge.
Last time we spoke you were in a cabin at Big Bear Lake recording music. One year on, how are you feeling?
My life has changed so much, I've been around the world twice. Fallen in and out of love a few times. I'm an exhausted human.
San Francisco to New York, eh?
It's all hell, but I wake up everyday, drink some coffee, get into it.
The new record has been described as "moody music". What can we expect from it?
You can expect some drama, lots of genre crossing and songs that hopefully will go in directions one wouldn't expect them to. Honestly, I just went through a lot during this record. Huge emotional swings, addictions, and recoveries.
"I don't think I've ever been in love more in my life than the particular moment I wrote the lyrics to Black Sea, it was a wild time"
Apart from the swings, were there any specific influences during the recording?
Shane Butler and Al Carlson referenced a lot of ideas from past projects they worked on, as did I. For me hints of stuff I learned from JR and Girls. Shane is a pretty authentic artist that sounds like himself so there are definitely elements of Quilt that I can pick up in the songs such as bass lines, harmonies. Al has worked on a ton of stuff from like St. Vincent to Wild Nothing. He just came out of the Weyes Blood sessions right into mine so all of that energy was still in the room for sure.
Tell us a little about the first single Black Sea...
Black Sea was played out on a napkin after several drinks. I don't think I've ever been in love more in my life than the particular moment I wrote the lyrics to that song, it was a wild time. I was on an airplane after parting ways with someone and just kinda stared out the window at the ocean. It just came out so naturally, as if it already existed in a part of my brain I don't use.
We read about the "Japanese-inspired textures" on the new record. What about that?
Sure, I got weirdly obsessed with the production on Walking Cloud and Deep Red Sky, Flag Fluttered and the Sun Shined. I found some keyboards from a special time in music there. Casio, Yamaha, Roland, making acoustic guitars sound percussive, the bizarre Pokemon child-suicide conspiracy theory and all.