wears the trousers magazine

incoming: ora cogan
January 15, 2010, 2:51 pm
Filed under: news, trouser press | Tags: , ,

Ora Cogan
The Quarry

[Borne! Recordings / Isolated Now Waves; February 1]

The dramatic cover shot, snapped in the stairwell of a hotel in Castelló, Spain, captures a lot of the mystery that runs thick throughout Ora Cogan’s latest album. Something of a departure from the Vancouver native’s clear, sparse, traditional style, The Quarry is big on atmosphere, submerging Ora’s already heady vocals in a deep well of reverb to give them an even more haunting quality. Recorded and co-produced with Jesse Taylor of Twin Crystals, Ora plays every instrument, including electric guitar, violin, dulcimer, drones and drums (except on two songs, where Kenton Loewen of The Crackling steps in). Divided into two ‘sides’ (vinyl collectors can drop the quote marks) of six songs each, the album includes covers of Sam Cooke’s ‘Troubled Mind’ and traditional number ‘Down To The River’ plus two instrumentals, ‘Lily’ and ‘Nite Prison’ (named after the studio where the album was recorded).

Continue reading

wears the trousers records presents…


Beautiful Star: The Songs Of Odetta
a benefit compilation curated by Wears The Trousers magazine

released November 30, 2009 (download / limited edition CD)

Continue reading

sounding off: april/may 2009 (II)

Part II – reviews of Ora Cogan, Kap Bambino, Diana Krall and Lene Marlin.

* * *


Ora Cogan
Harbouring •••½

Anyone lucky enough to have heard Ora Cogan live will be familiar with the Canadian singer-songwriter’s ability to create a distinctively fragile and haunted atmosphere using only guitar and her voice. Third album Harbouring ambles along the same quiet, contemplative lines as her live sets, though it often feels as if a little bit of magic has been lost in translation. This is a shame, as when Harbouring hits the right notes, metaphorically speaking, it truly soars, sounding like a long-lost cousin of Cat Power’s Moon Pix. This is especially so of the strong second quarter of the album, in which ‘You’re Not Free’, ‘True Heart’, and ‘My Belle’ work beautiful minor chords to devastating effect.

Continue reading

marissa nadler week: tribute to odetta


When legendary folk singer Odetta passed away early last December at the age of 77, the Wears The Trousers editorial team experienced an intense period of mourning, listening obsessively to her vast back catalogue and watching way too many YouTube clips of her finest moments.

During one of these nostalgic immersions we hit upon the idea of curating a tribute album to the great lady, the idea being to get some of our favourite contemporary artists to take on the folk, blues and spiritual traditionals that made up Odetta’s impressive repertoire, with all profits going to women’s charities. We wanted to show that Odetta’s influence stretched far and wide, transcending both race and genres of music.

One of the first people we went to was Marissa Nadler who eagerly signed up and, with a little encouragement, opted to record a version of the gorgeous ‘All My Trials’. While the ins and outs of the final album are still being decided, with a view to a release in August, we’re thrilled to preview Marissa’s contribution as part of our theme week.

Continue reading

exclusive: arborea’s charity compilation revealed

170209_arboreaProceeds to benefit African aid efforts

We first reported on Arborea’s new charity CD back in November, and now curator Buck Curran has filled us in on all the details. The physical release of Leaves Of Life is scheduled for early summer through Borne! Records, with US distribution through Darla Records, and will include 19 exclusive tracks from the likes of Marissa Nadler, Alela Diane, Larkin Grimm, Rio En Medio, Ora Cogan and Devendra Banhart. Mariee Sioux crops up to help her former Nevada City neighbour Alela Diane on opener ‘Cuckoo Bird’, while prodigious violist and hiccuping wren Anni Rossi lends a hand to Ora Cogan’s ‘My Belle’ and Marissa’s longtime collaborator Myles Baer joins her in his guise as Black Hole Infinity for ‘Dead Wives Club’. Hanna Tuulikki of Finnish/Scottish psych-folk trio Nalle made the cover art (pictured). The digital release may include up to five additional tracks from the likes of Nalle, Jozef Van Wissem, Plains, Denise Dill and Laurent Brondel. All proceeds will be going to the United Nations’ World Food Program and Hollywood celeb-founded Not On Our Watch agencies for relief programs in Africa.

In the meantime – next week, actually – Arborea will release their third album House Of Sticks through Borne!/Acuarela, a mighty swift follow-up to last year’s critically acclaimed self-titled beauty [review]. The album collects Buck and Shanti’s personal favourites from their debut Wayfaring Summer alongside several new songs recorded between 2007 and 2008 in such atmospheric places as “a Depression Era hunting cabin nestles in the olden hills of western Maine” and “in the parlour of a 160-year-old cottage”. Shanti explains: “Originally it was decided that we would re-release Wayfaring Summer on Borne! but we also had some new songs to add and many changes have come to our family in the few years since Wayfaring Summer, so Buck and I felt that it was important to give credit to these new feelings and thoughts and thus was Borne! (forgive the pun) the idea of House Of Sticks, which is a bittersweet contemplation of family and home life. Our lives are nothing more than a fragile house made of sticks and set adrift in a great and torrential flood.” Order it here.

Continue reading

january gig guide

So, January, yeah. Rubbish, isn’t it? Dark, cold, still bloated from Christmas, the annual humiliation of failing to keep your resolutions for longer than a fortnight, nothing to do…wait! Nothing to do? The gig year doesn’t usually heat up properly until March or so but there’s plenty worth seeing. We’ve trawled the listings to pick out something to warm your cockles for every black, freezing night of the month, starting Monday.

* * *


Experiment On A Bird In The Air Pump
Durrr @ The End, London

10:30pm | £6 (£4 before 11) 

Named after an 18th century painting by Joseph Wright, raucous London trio Experiment On A Bird In The Air Pump play a thumping live set to promote their debut EP These Sins at legendary (and soon to be demolished) club venue The End. Regular Durrr DJs, including Rory Phillips, will be on hand to turn Monday into fun day, even if it’s the first day back to the hideous reality of work for many of us.




Melodica, Melody & Me
Club Ugly @ The Social, London

8pm | FREE! 

With their debut EP Stones (produced by Gorillaz bassist Al Mobbs) about to be unleashed on the world, this folk-meets-reggae quintet have a promising year ahead. And with this gig costing nil pence, zero pounds, we can’t think of a reason to miss it. If dancing ’til your feet fall off at Durrr sounds a bit too energetic for this early in 2009, Club Ugly is the perfect way to ease yourself gently into the gig-going year.


Also playing: Captive State, The Housewives, We’re Not Cool (DJ Set)


Continue reading

free music friday: the be good tanyas (ish)

fmf_begoodtanyasSam Parton with Trish Klein
‘Love & Innocence’

When The Be Good Tanyas proclaimed last year that 2008 would eke out its months with absolutely no touring and almost certainly not a scrap of recording, there were tears in some households that shall go unidentified. Of course, they only meant with each other because they’ve certainly been busy. Sam Parton has guested on albums all over the place – Ferron, Irv Irving, King Wilkie, Rodney Decroo, and the Sumner Brothers – as well as producing the new Deb Hirkala album, Somebody Somewhere. Trish Klein, having left her other band Po’ Girl in late 2007, has been suspiciously quiet, cropping up rarely when performing alongside fellow Vancouver resident Ora Cogan. The Cogan connection also extends to explain what third member Frazey Ford has been up to…performing alongside Ora in a cappella blues and gospel quartet Cornerstone.

It was quite a surprise then when yesterday the Tanyas posted a brand new song called ‘Love & Innocence’ to their Myspace for free download. Credited to Sam Parton with Trish Klein, the song was written by Sam and features Trish on electric guitar and backing vocals, and Mark Beaty on bass. It’s essentially a demo and hasn’t been mixed or mastered, but, wow, it’s gorgeous. Centred around Sam’s refined and moving piano melody, it’s not a million miles away from the songs found on the Tanyas’ most recent album Hello Love, with Trish and Mark adding very subtle musical shading. A thing of hushed and delicate beauty. MP3 after the jump.

Continue reading

marissa nadler heads up new charity compilation


Arborea curated CD to benefit United Nations food agency

Wears The Trousers favourites Marissa Nadler, Alela Diane, Rio En Medio and Larkin Grimm have been confirmed for a new compilation curated by Shanti and Buck Curran of Arborea to benefit the World Food Program, which works to provide relief operations in places such as the Darfur region of Sudan, Uganda and the Congo. With a release date tentatively penned in for the end of March, the compilation will be issued in the US through Borne Recordings and Spanish indie imprint Acuarela.

Others confirmed for the compilation include Arborea themselves, Devendra Banhart, Mi & L’au, Fern Knight, Ora Cogan, Starless & Bible Black, Mica Jones, Micah Blue Smaldone, Big Blood, Cursillistas, Magic Leaves, The Plains, David Garland, Eric Carbonara and Jozef Van Wissem. Writing on her blog, Marissa revealed that her track will be an exclusive original, adding that she thinks most of the others will be too. 

Continue reading