Cock and Swan
Johnny and Ola started making music together in 2003, on a Tascam 4-track in a tiny bedroom in Bothell, Washington. They now write and record in a white brick bunker by the river. Their music is inspired by old analog synthesizers, unplanned samples, giant vintage bass drums, and faded colors.
One could easily draw comparisons to the likes of Boards of Canada, Mum, amongst the fragile homespun lyrics, wobbly synths, off kilter poly-rhythms, and murky thuds that lay comfortably with this dark lit duo. Yet, Johnny and Ola stay distinct and sharply on point.
Through the hypnotic fog that is the music of Cock and Swan lurks a strange energy, feeling one part sinister and two parts innocent. Yet it only reveals itself in subtle uneasy layers of blissfully haunting melodies as you clamber further into the dank outlands that entrench their sound. At times somber dirges of shuffling drums and detuned strings weigh heavy on the skull, like fifty-pound mutton chops. While other selections bring such comfort through spontaneous dream state ballads, and the hushed reassurance of Ola Hungerford mantra like vocals guiding you through.
Maybe a new name to some folks, but Cock and Swan are going on their third full-length album with 2010′s Unrecognize. Much of their work to date has been an interesting process of perfecting and rearranging previous compositions. If that seems like it might be tedious work and slightly tiring for the artist and listener. My response would be, maybe for most groups, but not Cock and Swan. Their ability to sculpt engaging new productions from the decaying tapes of years past, is incredible. Each time reaching new highs in their ability as musicians and providing their fans with a completely different experience. In fact, if they weren’t so open and honest with the fact they have rehashed past songs, most would never know.
Johnny and Ola also stay quite busy curating their modest and highly underrated record label, Dandelion Gold. In fact, nothing short of top quality artists make it through the Dandelion Gold offices. Seriously, want to bust out some great music on friends and unsuspecting hipsters, need look no further. They love to record and play live with other Dandelion Gold artists, such as Shana Cleveland (of The Curious Mystery) and Brad Dunn (founding member of The Curious Mystery).
Cock and Swan has already graced our label with the acoustic rendition of Unrecognized on 2010′s Lost Tribe Sound: One compilation, along with a remix of Vieo Abiungo’s “While the Others Sleep”. Look towards Spring 2012 with wide-eyed enthusiasm as LTS will be releasing Cock and Swan’s brand new full-length.