One listen to the Jon Cohen Experimental will leave you wanting more (and more and more). Their unique, genre-defying music can be described as a thought- and mood-provoking blend of pop rock which pulls from a variety of musical traditions offering a unique take on modern alternative music.
With such an easy listening sound, this is the kind of music that long Sunday drives and warm summer nights are made of.
The Jon Cohen Experimental are currently touring their new album, Behold, produced by Dave Draves (Gentlemen Reg, Angela Desveaux, Julie Doiron, Octoberman, Kathleen Edwards) and featuring musical guests such as Murray Lightburn from The Dears, Angela Desveaux, Elephant Stone, Krista Muir, Evan Cranley from Stars and Broken Social Scene, Liam O’Neil from The Stills and many more.
Does the name Jon Cohen ring a bell for some reason? Probably because he’s also been a key member of some notable alternative Canadian groups such as The Dears and Social Register.
The Jon Cohen Experimental started up in 2006 and was Cohen’s response to more than a decade of service to the prolific Montreal music scene.
The group has toured all over the Maritimes, Quebec and Ontario, making appearances at numerous festivals including Pop Montreal and NXNE to a variety of different audiences.
Cohen now brings his solo sound out West to give us a taste of his new album which was in the works for three year—a touch long for industry standards but the new album is genuinely crafted and full of fine-tuned songwriting making the wait worthwhile.
Cohen’s lyrical content makes poetic commentary on human nature’s destructive habits and its potential for greatness, all the while touching on modern life, spirituality and the human condition. He proves his insightful and thought-provoking nature through songs such as Hold the Fire and Brain Pollution.
My favourite song, hands down, is Don’t Be the Cloud. A soft, dream-like ballad somewhat reminiscent of The Flaming Lips, this song is one that is definitely on my current top 10 playlist. Lyrics like “You’re not the island if you long to see the shore. You’re not the storm, if you’ve not yet learned to pour. You’re not enough when all you want is wanting more” provide this song as an inflection into finding out one’s true self.
So, yes, I said that his music would be a great accompaniment to a summer’s eve or a Sunday drive, but Behold’s lyrics could also provide the flowing soundtrack to a time of self-meditation or heavy pondering, if that’s what you’re into.
The Jon Cohen Experimental will be stopping by the Minstrel Café and Bar (4638 Lakeshore Rd.) on Jan. 26 and I would highly recommend enjoying his performance over something from the Café’s delicious menu and a bottle of vino (perhaps the perfect accompaniment for anything really).
Cohen plays at 8 p.m. and a $5 entertainment charge per person will be added to your bill at the end of the night.
Get a taste for the Jon Cohen Experimental at www.myspace.com/thejoncohenexperience.
Pyper Geddes is GM of Habitat.