If Steve Cobby’s first solo long player, ‘Saudade’ was full of yearning and maybe more than a hint of melancholy, his second album ‘Everliving’ carries an optimism and a confidence in it’s execution that perhaps reflects the success and career reboot that he has experienced since the release of said album a year or so ago.
Fourteen tracks of immaculately loose, funky and emotional instrumentals, played by a man who wants you to know he is present and involved..deeply. Dancefloor chuggers ‘The Sirens Help Me To Sleep’ and ‘The Sober Certainty Of Waking Bliss’ feel like a live band are doing it, feeling it, grinning at each other when the chord changes work, when the jam takes on it’s own life. The more midtempo affairs (of which there are many) like ‘Lainakea’ and ‘Oneric’ carry this on and appear like one take recordings, humanly hit, bar-room grooves in no rush, the feeling that you, the listener, are present during the process. Again that word, feeling..it’s all about the feeling, as it always was with his previous incarnations in Fila Brazillia, Pork Recordings, etc. A space and feeling of his own.
Melodically, Steve also creates his own space, a lot of space. Arpeggiated bleeps, barely strummed guitars, narcotic one-note synth solos, building layer upon layer until your ears are full but your lungs breathe easier. Tracks like ‘Mahalo’ and ‘May Flights Of Angels Sing Him To His Rest’ and ‘Nip It Up Choppy’ are meditations, places to be safe, cups of thought..blissful in their focus and lightness of touch.
My personal favourite (for tonight that is), ‘Phatic Communion’ is pure Cobby in his stone cold Fila classic ‘A Zed And Two L’s’ mould. Deceptively simple sounding, piano, bass, kalimba (xylophone perhaps?) and the smoothest of drum grooves ebb and flow, in and out, filtered synths barely breaking through the endless riff, this could roll on for hours for me. I suspect that is exactly what is going to happen tonight...
Everliving. Everlasting. Evergreen.
Buy it right here: http://stevecobby.co.uk/album/everliving
Words by Justin Turford AKA Ex-Friendly