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Alice Cohen’s music takes the sensuous slink of disco music and attaches it to soul / R&B tunes, all with a vibrant modern pop attitude. Apart from guest vocals from Autre Ne Veut and some extra drumming from Bryan Ujueta of Mr. Twin Sister, everything on Into The Grey Salons is played by Alice Cohen herself. On Olde English Spelling Bee.

  • LP £14.99
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  • OESB-92
  • OESB-92 / LP on Olde English Spelling Bee
  • Includes download code

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Into The Grey Salons by Alice Cohen 1 review. Add your own review. 8/10
4 people love this record. Be the 5th!

8/10 Staff review, 15 March 2016

This lightly breezing but incredibly busy record is gonna have an audience, even if it’s not necessarily us, so I’ll ask: have you ever wanted Chvrches to dial it down about 15%? Word, well, I mean, that’s why Purity Ring exist. But what if they were high? Okay, that’s Pure Bathing Culture, in fairness. I guess I don’t need to find a niche soundbyte, so let’s go the long way round; like those very good artists, who all manage to exact a space between pop songs and atmosphere pieces, Alice Cohen is making a blustery synth record that acts more as paracetamol than a headache. It’s full to the brim and glowing a little’ too bright, but ultimately it makes for a wonderfully chill listen.

Cohen is a songwriter twice over, able to focus her vocal lines and develop strong narrative throughlines while also jamming the fuck out with bright, harmonic choruses and fluorescent piano plus synth jams. She manages to put two songs into one several times over on this record, most notably on “Looking Glass”, which coalesces a stretched out, meandering idea with a song of actual verses. On “Deeper”, she inflicts the more chillwave spectrum of Cavern of Anti-Matter’s Ghost Box psychedelics, breathing heavy vocal harmonies onto sparkling guitar riffs. The song appears, but it’s the tone she sets for it that’s compelling; it follows with the high-pitched noise instrumental “Monorail”, a track so good it makes me envision Cohen doing an album of instrumental vignette nuggets a la a synth pop J Dilla.

There’s a lot going on here, and I’m cool with that: lush and granite at the same time, Alice Cohen has worked her way towards more than just the record you expect when you open it up: she channels Woo and Julianna Barwick on the cloudridden “Apothecary” and squelches her way through the Merzbow of all Can hits on “Elevator Dream”. The more it goes on, the more inclined I am to describe every fucking track, because it keeps changing -- let’s just finish by saying by the time I’ve heard the bass-punctuated ambience of “The Grey Salons”, I’m ready to collapse my first paragraph.

Sometimes you gotta get to the end of the damn thing to realise how nice it is.


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