Posts Tagged ‘Les Cooper’

Les Cooper knows how to set the mood. Hailing from the Toronto area, this multi-instrumentalist and producer has a long history of orchestrating ambivances through working with musicians, symphonies, and television shows. With his new release Noise, Cooper uses his decades of skills to paint portraits of uncertainty. Gentle but tinkling rhythms and a solid emotional core make Noise a really flavorful listen.

Noise starts with “Stranger,” a tune that gets a little deeper under my skin with each play. The album’s second track, “Noise,” shimmies with a bossa-nova flavor and hummingbird vocals of Caroline Marie Brooks. Despite its anxious lyrics, it vibes more like abandoning Saturday evening plans for Hulu rather than braving the outside world. It ends up being a standout track, the most upbeat of the bunch, and the one with the “date night with the boo” flavor. It’s also a great showcase of Cooper’s vocals, which are warm with a touch of elevating rasp.

Gorgeous video for Best Of You by Anne Douris

“Best of You” is a thoughtful nodder about being stuck under the weight of others’ good intentions, when the world, even at its best, can be smothering. “And the world pulls you ’round/and the sky pulls you down to the ground,” Cooper illustrates, that illustrates powerlessness to one’s routines. Further, “Keep It Down” seems like an answer to “Noise,” like the far end of a relationship when curling up doesn’t seem like the safe place it used to be. Cooper conveys that sense of and tension isolation in his lyrics. It rolls with a country melancholy played on something with a bow (“cinematic strings” he calls them in a blurb). Together, these three songs seem to (in my mind) illustrate the conflict of whether internal spaces are fences or prison walls, or perhaps a bit of both.

Noise is a great record for lovers of acoustic guitar sounds with not-too-much electrical diddling. It’s just so carefully put together that it’ll draw you in and trap you. I get flavors of Massive Attack and later-years Talk Talk. Check it out.

Noise LPLes Cooper WebsiteLes Cooper Instagram

Les Cooper Himself

Les Cooper a Toronto’ based producer, mixer, multi-instrumentalist, JUNO award winner, and very cool name haver, has released his debut single, “Stranger.” It starts with buzzy tones before Les’s haunting vocal slides into consciousness. Layers upon layers of swirling instrumentation weave through Cooper’s mellow voice. The speaker of the song seems to carry a very intense and public hurt as it tells the pain of feeling left behind after someone else’s success: Everyone will say that you’re the one that shook them up/the one that tore them down. There is a sense of the speaker struggling through this rawness as they encounter this person’s exploits in other places: Everyone may write about the things you did, the lies you told, the hearts you broke. I get the sense that the hurt may be public, but the speaker feels quite invisible, like they’re the one becoming a stranger. It’s a good atmospheric mellow. I wonder what he’ll come up with next.

Listen to “Stranger” on your preferred platform

Les Cooper Instagram