COTS SHARES “MIDNIGHT AT THE STATION” FROM HER ‘BRILLIANT DEBUT’ (BANDCAMP) DISTURBING BODY
STEPH YATES’ SANDRO PERRI-PRODUCED ALBUM IS OUT AUGUST 11, 2021 VIA BOILED RECORDS
“There’s bleakness to spare on the dystopian ‘Midnight at the Station’” – MOJO
“Cots leans into gentleness” – Exclaim!
Disturbing Body, the intimate debut album by Cots, paints a celestial portrait of lost love and consequence. The solo project of Montreal/Guelph composer, singer, and guitarist Steph Yates blends elements of bossa nova, folk, jazz, and classical against a modern art backdrop, her subtly unconventional style brushed across its lush palette. “Flowers” introduced the album’s masterful blend of the delicate and the macabre: a gorgeous meditation on death that highlights Yates’s captivating voice and provoking lyricism. “Our Breath” showcased the album’s experimental tendencies and sundown habitat, softly flooded with warbled vocal effects and hand drums radiating ambience.
Today, Cots shares the final preview single ahead of Disturbing Body’s release. Entitled “Midnight at the Station,” the album’s closing passage takes place “while waiting for a train that is very late and might possibly not come at all,” Yates muses. Fittingly mysterious and lonesome, melodious yet vividly disquieting, “Midnight at the Station” enmeshes nocturnal jazz and askew indie-bossa: Yates’s punctuative vocals grip the song, while forlorn synths by renowned producer Sandro Perri mingle with her nylon guitar trot and expressive saxophone by Karen Ng. Head on a carpet bag, chin on an open book, Cots leads Disturbing Body towards its terminal abyss. She says:
“The end section is something of an outro to the entire record and I wanted it to feel different from the rest of the song. Sandro built a spot-on, dystopian sonic dreamscape for it and I love it. For me it is a perfectly ambiguous moment to end on.”
After residual effects of a concussion left Cots uncertain how to finish the record on her own, she reached out to Toronto musician and producer Perri about working together – his production notes of “play louder” and “sing plainer” eventually making indelible marks on the contours of each song. Disturbing Body found its rhythm over four cosy days in Guelph at The Cottage studio, run by Canadian veteran recording artist and engineer Scott Merritt. The result saw her crystalline vocals and intricate guitar entwined with Perri’s atmospheric arrangements for Blake Howard (percussion), Josh Cole (bass guitar), Ryan Brouwer (trumpet), Karen Ng (saxophone), Thomas Hammerton (keyboards), and Perri himself (synths, samples, field recordings).
With the elements in place, the deft sonic precision of Disturbing Body evokes Yates’s understated yet detailed songcraft and attention to lyrical play. Over ponderous nylon guitar, and careful instrumental incursions, Yates’s crystalline voice carries the gravitas of the album’s ten elegiac movements.
“These songs, for the most part, have to do with the heart, something I was shy to write about previously,” Yates reveals. “It’s possible my deepening love for Brazilian music, wherein some of my favourite artists sing freely about o coração, emboldened me in this way. As a collection, the songs give a prismatic view of a lone heart in its course having known closeness and having known loss.”
Disturbing Body will be released August 11, 2021 via Boiled Records on vinyl and digital formats.
Release Date: August 11, 2021
1. Disturbing Body
2. Bitter Part of the Fruit
3. Sun-Spotted Apple
5. Inertia of a Dream
7. Salt or Sand
8. Our Breath
9. Last Sip
10. Midnight at the Station