Alice Cohen’s new record is born from the 80’s, but with a modern day aesthetic. Among the keyboards, analogue timbres and bulbous basslines there lays a leftfield artist writing leftfield songs in a wholly retro pop arena. Cohen has somehow managed to nestle in to a well-worn, over-worn to some, genre and make it her own.
Listening to Silent Movie you realise that Cohen is seemingly working with repetitive loops in full song mode – that is, the vocal melody line is almost set to repeat, along with the shiny synth backing. It somehow creates a highly addictive musical substance that you hope will last a little longer.
Alice Cohen is an original. She has been since the late 70’s, when she was leading her Philadelphian band Fun City. Since then she’s played with other groups, made (and is still making) wholly unique mash-up, stop-motion music videos and released a varied array of solo records. She pretty much plays everything on this record – using dusted down, old-school machinery to piece together the pop-puzzle we’re hearing.
The electro momentum heard on Mauve Mood unveils a multi-Cohen vocal, the song spiralling off-kilter with a fine pitch-bent keyboard solo atop the ongoing cyclical rhythm.
Salamander’s Tale is an easy-going Sunday swoon of woozy electric pianos and almost jazzy tones. Cue the sax solo. It breaks with much of what has gone before, but in a good way.
The power ballad, Color of the Sea, is a fitting closer, the cinematic undertone and delayed snare creating a more filmic landscape to fade out on.
Pink Keys proves that originality comes from within. It matters not where you dig for sounds and inspiration, but how you use them.