As If Apart, the long-awaited sequel to Chris Cohens 2012 soft psych garden of unearthly alter-pop earworms and studio-sonic delights Overgrown Path, follows on its predecessor with another bittersweet ensemble of dreamy, complex songs. Pushing the idiosyncrasies of Cohen's melodic and rhythmic approach into even more fractured, shifting spaces,As if Apart unsettles lazy pop conventions, upending jaded heads and hearts with an expansive, moody psychedelia. Where Overgrown Path plunged within,As if Apart voyages out. And up.
Cohens songwriting isnt so much disjunctive as subjunctive, asking what if, playing against the expected and building suspense, breaking like waves or the patterns at the edges of things. Chris makes music with the patience of a gardener: he went out and collected a backyards worth of thorny succulents, took them home and cultivated them like so. They are modular plants ‚Äî cut one little piece, stick it in the ground, give it time. Come back and find it branching, breaking and replanting itself into tangle and form. You notice yourself changed too.
To say that this is how pop music should have turned out would be nostalgic -- a misapprehension of time, pop, history and our place within those structures -- what we could say is that this is how pop music has turned out alongside itself --how it has become beside itself - as if apart.
As If Apart
Drink from A Silver Cup
In a Fable
Needle and Thread
Sun Has Gone Away
Yesterdays on My Mind