Chris Cohen :: The AD Interview

“Modern timelessness, without a speck of bullshit.” Those were the words employed by my good friend John describing Chris Cohen’s "Heartbeat", a standout cut from the excellent Overgrown Path LP on Captured Tracks.

Timeless and sans bullshit nails it. Cohen’s LP, recorded in rural Vermont where the songwriter moved following the dissolution of his band Cryptacize and a lifetime spent on the West Coast performing with Deerhoof, Danielson, Cass McCombs, and a brief-stint with Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, is a charming slice of rustic AM gold.

The record shares a winding quality with the names on Cohen’s resume, but most recalls his Curtains project, which recorded a series of great albums for Asthmatic Kitty in the early-to-mid-aughts. Those records touched on themes that fully mature on Overgrown Path: soft psych guitars, pastoral lift, exquisite jangle, and jazzy pop motifs. Free roaming and rambling, the record sounds something like an imagined Byrds record produced by Todd Rundgren.

“I think the record reflects my speed as a person,” Cohen says over the phone from Vermont, taking time away from prepping a European tour to discuss Overgrown Path with AD.

Aquarium Drunkard: Were the songs of Overgrown Path written over the past couple years, or did they develop as you settled into Vermont?

Chris Cohen: I started writing them a few years ago. Some of them were going to be Cryptacize songs, which I started writing in 2008 or 2009. One of the songs was co-written with Nedelle [Torrisi, one-half of Cryptacize]. I think I spent two years writing, pretty much getting myself psyched up to start recording again. After Cryptacize ended, I wasn’t really sure...I didn’t have any specific plans, I was just writing because I enjoyed it. I didn’t start actually recording until 2011. I started recording it in Los Angeles, before I moved out here. I ended up re-recording a lot of songs when I got to Vermont, where I basically spent 3 years recording it.

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