MP3 Josh Cole and The Household - Hypocriticool
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13 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Acoustic, FOLK: Power-folk
After appearing with Wilco, Patty Griffin and Chuck Prophet on Paste magazine's first-ever CD sampler, Josh Cole took a detour from indie success, disappeared from the Boston music scene, and surfaced on an organic goat cheese farm in the Oregon Coastal Mountains. Three years on, Cole and his dust-choked vocals and barbed-wire guitar are back in Boston, along with a new band and a new attitude that both figure prominently on his new album, Hypocriticool, a folk/rock/pop album that corrals 13 punchy, teary-eyed, mystic songs into one household.
"While working on my brother's farm, I realized the industries of agriculture and music are the same in that they've grown too big," Cole says. "But when you're a farmer or musician on a small-scale, working household style, when it's all about your relationship to your community, nature, and your craft--when you've got that in harmony--that's when it's not hypocritical. Life is bigger than being cool; to make better music and a better world you have to concentrate on being good to yourself and those around you and not being defined by what you're up against."
Hypocriticool is an eclectic collection of songs that represents a conscious effort on Josh Cole's part to define himself by bringing together extremes of sounds and words. While there is a lot of good music being made today, when he surveys the horizon Cole sees a great vacancy -- or rather, a vacancy for greatness. "That vacancy is somebody who pulls together the balls of rock and the lyrical assertiveness of classic folk and country to make original, quirky, hard-hitting songs; songs that awaken people's imaginations and create new metaphors to cope with a radically shifting world," Cole says. From Woody Guthrie to Bob Dylan to the Clash to Fugazi, Cole believes that "songs -- not the genres -- dictate what music should sound like."
Recorded over a two-year period with veteran engineer/producer Nick Joyce (Miles Davis, Mighty Mighty Bosstones), the thirteen tracks of Hypocriticool feature Coles' own Household: drummer Peter Koeplin (Kahoots, Alotia, Drop Nineteens) pounding out a deep pocket and subtle time signature changes with raw ease, and long-time collaborator Andy Macdonald contributing bass, keyboards, and guitar that throb with an orchestrated sense of space and melody.
Hypocriticool also features several notable guest appearances. Boston blues guitarist Lydia Warren contributes a smoking lead and harmonies in the song "Leaning," while New York singer-songwriter Felix McTeigue jumps in on the vocal choruses as if to emphasize (or sympathize with) Cole's overzealous romantic gestures. The haunting nightingale voice of singer-songwriter Rose Polenzani (Voices on the Verge, Daemon Records) sweetens several tracks. Her playful back ups ride the humor on "Hilary, You Drive a School Bus Through My Heart" (a flippant homage to Morrissey) while the delicate duet "Love is A Comma (Hannah and Chuck's Wedding Waltz)" evokes bittersweet tears.
The CD's stunning package was conceived by veteran British designers Ken Ansell (UB40, XTC) and Luke Wakeman of The Clinic. Ken and Luke subtly meld images of a world-weary Josh Cole playing guitar at the Utah salt flats with those of a clean-shaven Cole rocking out in full color with The Household -- offering a deceptively simple visual for the space where quiet and loud collide.
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