Coriander – .004
Produced, engineered and mixed by Christian Essex
Additional drums engineering by Dan Hallas
Mastered by Henk Kooistra at 9 West Mastering
As a seven-person collaborative based out of Boston and New York, Coriander
is just a little country, a touch rocking, a bit folky, and somewhat seductive.
Formed by singer/songwriter Christian Essex in 1994 mainly as a studio project
with a rotating line-up of session players, Coriander created three albums before
this effort, but now, with a more solidified lineup, the band is finally bringing
its sounds to the stage.
It is interesting to see what happens when you take seven people of assorted musical backgrounds and ask them to write music together. The opening “For Her Time” mixes almost gospel-like vocals with simple singer/songwriter folk and rootsy rhythms. But then, taking you from the back porch to the bedroom in no time at all, “Daylight” works around a funky bass line and electronic beats to create a dark and moody late night theme. One of the more consistently noticeable highlights is the soaring vocals of Lilli Lewis, which seem to play cat and mouse with all of the other elements, reaching a high and beautiful peak and then fading out, just in time to expose some other layer that has been peeled back. On some tracks though, like the eerily danceable “Fib,” the entire band seems to know enough to take a step back and let her shine, though maintaining a tight and hypnotic soundscape behind her. The rhythms become more driving in places like “Traction,” just before the band does a complete turn with the backwoods country vibe of “Green Eye Brown.” But no matter what style of music they are playing, the fact that this is a group of accomplished musicians is evident throughout the album, taking simple back porch acoustic guitar songs, and adding lush layers of bass, cello, flute, electronics and percussion of various forms. (Melodank Productions)
- Eddie Fournier