BAND OF THE WEEK: COBALT CRANES

2 Apr

Cobalt Cranes emerge from having their “Head in the Clouds” in favor of some “Days in the Sun,” and our days have been unquestionably, immeasurably brightened by their doing so.

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But let’s get something out of the way: the sound of Cobalt Cranes on “Days in the Sun” is, to these ears, an absolutely perfect sound, fully realized, immediately resonant (you’ll sing along in an instant) and yet revealing endless dimensions with each additional listen (and there have been months, and months, and months, of listens). The sound is appropriately sunny, yes, but with long shadows a-plenty; dark stars, graves and heavy hearts dot the entire landscape of the eight-song, twenty-nine minute album.

That’s a statistic that bears repeating: eight-songs in twenty-nine minutes, with not a moment rushed, and not a moment wasted. Concise, but never lacking depth, lean and loose all at the same time. The result is an album – indeed, a band – with more hooks than an elementary school coat rack.

We’re not entirely comfortable describing the sound of Cobalt Cranes as power-pop – more to the point, we’re not entirely comfortable describing the sound of Cobalt Cranes, full stop – but that seems to be the closest approximation we can settle on to capture, the magick of their power, their pop. Parts of “Days of the Sun” make us recall the toe-tapping best of Cheap Trick, or The Shoes, or The Raspberries,  or [insert power-pop band here]. But the reality is the term “power-pop” is really just our substitute for showering the band with the highest, and most appropriate, form of flattery in our arsenal; “Days in the Sun” is downright Beatles-esque. Here comes the sun, and it’s much, much more than alright, dude.

Which is to say the eight songs contained within “Days in the Sun” have found a permanent place in our head and in our (heavy) heart, almost to the point of distraction. For as immediate and enjoyable as the sound of Cobalt Cranes is (and if we haven’t made it clear up to this point – the sound of Cobalt Cranes is immediate and enjoyable; we very nearly swoon at the mere mention), there exists enough quirk, strangeness and charm in their sound for us to be unable to truly place them in their proper sonic spot. “Heading west to chase the sun/Through the darkness, on the run.” Long live the mystery of “Days in the Sun,” long live Cobalt Cranes.

“Days in the Sun” is available from Cobalt Cranes as a digital download, or on cassette from Lollipop Records.

“Essence is like the sun itself. The sun’s nature is to shine, to be warm, and to illuminate. In the same way, you should distinguish between mind and mind essence. Mind essence has all three of these qualities. It is the essence of this mind essence that is empty, the nature of this mind essence that is cognizant, and the capacity of this mind essence that is unconfined.” – Tsoknyi Rinpoche

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