Posts Tagged ‘The Fresh & Onlys’

San Francisco-based singer/songwriter Tim Cohen has long been a fixture of the city’s garage rock and psych rock revival scene as one of the minds behind The Fresh & Onlys and Magic Trick. Despite his already storied career over the past 20 years, his forthcoming sixth solo album, “You Are Still Here”, represents another step forward with his first solo album recorded in the studio. The result is a set of sounds that invites with a friendly psych folk sound but holds some wild instrumental breakdowns just beneath. Cohen has now returned with his latest single, “Bottom Feeders,”

“Bottom Feeders” brings the anxious undercurrent of these songs to the forefront, opening on a wiry surf guitar line before the hypnotic refrain enters, bolstered by a psychedelic horn flourish. The driving pace hints back to Cohen’s garage rock roots, but the song holds onto a sense of trippy melody that is pure ‘60s psych rock. Both arresting and alluring, the song brings out both Cohen’s catchy melodies and acid-fried freak-outs in equal measure. The qualities that have made him such a fixture in the Bay Area are out in full force on his new record.

Cohen says of the song, “My flight out to Denver, where I plan to record my new album with James Barone, was delayed for six hours. I had eaten the weed edible, but sitting in the airport for so long began to drive nails into my brain. I decided I would use this anxiety to my benefit and write all the lyrics to the album. ‘Dead and Company,’ the rebranding of one of my favourite all-time bands (except with John Mayer), were doing shows at Red Rocks the next day and it turns out I was sharing a plane with many of their fans.” 

“In a dark turn, I painted a picture of these people’s lives in my mind. I thought about what it used to mean to be a (Grateful) Dead head, squandering your life possessions and following the Dead to the end of the road. In this new world, following “Dead and Company” meant something entirely different. So I came up with the worst insult I could for people that pretend to be something they are clearly not: bottom feeders. People that feed on other peoples’ vision or opinion of them. The whole song was about deadheads flying first class to a show in Colorado.” 

“I ended up recording those lyrics but scrapping the whole thing. I reassigned the song to a different idea and kept the title. The new lyrics which you hear are more about oblivion and self-awareness, nothing to do with bottom feeders per se. But I liked the title so I kept it.” Check out the song below and watch for You Are Still Here, coming March 26th via Bobo Integral.

Releases March 26th, 2021

tim cohen give me yours song premiere origins stream

The veteran San Francisco songwriter (of The Fresh & Onlys fame) is putting out a record called “You Are Still Here” this March, and on it features “Give Me Yours”, a single that came together while Cohen waited six hours for a plane out to Denver. He’d already had the chords and arrangements mapped out, but the lyrics came pouring out after Cohen had ordered a tequila soda and chicken sandwich at the airport to pass the time. Oh, and did I mention that he’d also popped “an edible” before leaving his house?

Penned while “on the verge of hallucinations,” as Cohen described it, the track reads like a paranoid fever dream. “They’re gonna drink our drinks/ They’re gonna eat our bones,” Cohen sings in the opening verse, referencing his own airport meal but in exaggerated terms.

“This ‘they are coming to get us’ attitude is a by product of the despair and hopelessness I felt being at the mercy of corporate airlines in what I deemed an irreversible front to my artistic freedom,” he explained and in my half-delusional state I adopted the ‘us against them’ desperation that permeates the album.”

Although fuelled by agony and anxiety, musically “Give Me Yours” actually sounds like a bouncy ball of sunshine. Cohen trades in his Fresh & Onlys garage rock for guitar-led folk-pop that’s much softer yet has an irresistible charm. The percussion snaps and the rhythm sways like something out of the ’60s, and it’s all smiles by the time you reach the extra peppy guitar that pops around all over the chorus. If only my breakdowns at JFK and Newark sounded this good.

Fresh & Onlys frontman Tim Cohen wrote “Give Me Yours” during an airport layover and then fleshed it out in the studio. He’s always had a way with a hook and this one’s no different. 

His new album, You Are Still Here, arrives March 26th via Bobo Integral.