It has become something of a music writing cliche to proclaim that a new artist is completely original and unlike anything you’ve ever heard before. Is this going to stop us from employing it here? You bet its not! Seriously though, Adrian Cohen’s music has had us scratching our heads a bit when it comes to searching for a suitable aural approximate.
Now this isn’t necessarily because Cohen is producing music so experimental that it defies comparison. His tracks clearly show influence from classic rock, and his keyboard style owes a lot to the prog rock and pop of the 1970s and 1980s. Indeed, one can’t help but feel upon listening to his music that Cohen has spent a good deal of time studying the western music canon, and given that he is currently studying at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, we reckon that is probably a very accurate observation. But the finished product feels less like an homage and more like a carefully constructed ‘model’ version of pop-rock, taking the essential elements and elevating them to their Platonic Ideal.
We’ve come up with three artists who we think best sum up the overall feel of his music, although none of these encapsulate Cohen’s sound per se, but rather individual aspects of the coherent whole. The first is Daniel Johnston, whose childlike naivety and prominence within the outsider music scene mirrors the pure unadulterated joy of Cohen’s pop melodies.
We also think that a good chunk of Brain Wilson fans will appreciate Cohen’s technical brilliance, and knack for creating infectiously catchy pop tunes. Indeed, Cohen’s father (and master lyricist behind the music outfit) is a big fan of the musical powerhouse of the Beach Boys, and Wilson’s autobiography inspired them to write songs that sound like something that the Beach Boys might sing.
Finally we think that people who enjoy the whimsy and kookiness of They Might Be Giants will also be drawn to the unashamedly goofiness of Cohen’s music, which while technically flawless, does not take itself too seriously.
Check out his stuff on the links below: