Release Date: Sep 30, 2016
Record label: Paradise of Bachelors
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Indie Folk
There’s a bit of irony in the title of Itasca’s third album, Open to Chance. Musically, this is Kayla Cohen’s most precise, controlled work to date, compared not only to her early abstract drones as Sultan but even to her last full-length, 2015’s beautifully wandering guitar-and-voice record Unmoored by the Wind. It’s also her first recording with a band, which perhaps explains why she kept a tight ship, lest her subtle, intricate folk songs get blurred or drowned by overly-busy accompaniment.
Los Angeles-via-New York singer-songwriter Kayla Cohen, working under the Itasca moniker, possesses a decidedly throwback aesthetic. Hers is a sound that would not sound out of place in the company of some of the best of the Laurel Canyon scene of the early 1970s. Rooted in folk, there’s a strong thread of country running through her latest release and first for Paradise of Bachelors, Open to Chance.
Marking the songwriter's debut on the Paradise of Bachelors label, Open to Chance is the third full-length album by indie folk's Kayla Cohen under her Itasca pseudonym. Known to fans for her light-handed, acoustic home recordings, it's also her first to feature a full band. Still gentle, if reinforced, the recordings remain steered by Cohen's gauzy vocals and acoustic guitar.
Itasca—Open to Chance (Paradise of Bachelors)“November morning, Sky’s warm to the touch,” Itasca’s Kayla Cohen breathes in the first line of “Carousel.” Her voice flutters lightly as it hops from note to note, blossoming into tremulous vibrato at the sustained ends of phrases. It is both fragile and sure, serene and humming like a tuning fork with emotional vibrations. Though clearly grounded in a 1960s-to-1970s folk pop tradition, she is hard to place.