Ahead of his show tonight at Village Underground, we prepare ourselves for the return of S.C.U.M.’s frontman, Thomas Cohen with a playlist.
If you weren’t a fan of S.C.U.M. during their sadly short stint together, you clearly weren’t a trendy noughties indie darling. Championed by NME and every underground blog online, the band made warped, breathy songs to shake your hair to in dark rooms. Grumbling guitars and angsty bite in the vocals, they shot up to small time notoriety having only produced one album. Frontman Thomas Cohen is back in music with an all together reinvented sound.
While skinny jeans and distortion might have ruled the land back in 2011 when the band released Again Into Eyes, now Cohen’s shimmied straight up to date with a new solo single, “Bloom Forever”. Doused in romantic Americana and languid, rolling percussion, “Bloom Forever” is the song your life’s film fades out to. It’s melancholic pace counteracted by a warm swelling chorus, the title track from Cohen’s debut album is hopeful, hopeless and comforting all at once. As soon as we saw Cohen’s playlist, we knew where he’d found inspiration, here’s a music obsessive’s library, from the masters like Patti Smith and The Beach Boys, to cuts he stumbled upon in record stores, your education begins here.
Alro Guthrie – “The City Of New Orleans”
Thanks to my lack of knowledge of the work of Steve Goodman (sorry) it wasn’t until Wonderland asked me to write about each song that I found out Guthrie wasn’t the original writer of “The City Of New Orleans” and that he was sold the song over a pint of beer.
The Flying Burrito Brothers – “Hot Burrito #1”
Any keen Parsons fans will notice my ode to the great man in the “Bloom Forever” video.
Townes Van Zandt – “High, Low And In Between.”
If a shadow don’t seem much like company, who said it would be…
Jim Sullivan – “UFO”
I’ve always thought it’s insane that Jim Sullivan ran away from his life and simply because he wrote a song called “UFO” everyone presumes he was abducted by aliens.
Van Morrison – “Bulbs”
Veedon Fleece is my favourite Van album – hugely brilliant and overlooked. This song’s got the best grunting on it.
Tim Buckley – “Dolphins”
A beautiful cover of a Fred Neil song who left music to dedicate his life to the protection of dolphins.
The Beach Boys – “A Day In The Life Of A Tree”
Brian Wilson writing from the perspective of a tree, heartbreaking and beautiful.
Laura Nyro – “Upstairs By A Chinese Lamp”
I found Laura’s records in a record store in New York and they really changed the direction of my own album, especially her piano playing.
Patti Smith – “Pissing In A River”
Perfect melodrama from the queen of everything.
Judee Sill – “The Kiss”
A song about the commune of a kiss where romantic love and the Holy Spirit meet.
Thomas Cohen plays The Village Underground tonight.