Nick Cobham returns to his rock roots with Some Dads. Releases debut EP, Come Hither.
Matt Carter | @m_j_c73
If you’re at all familiar with the past decade of New Brunswick music there’s a pretty good chance you’ve heard the name Nick Cobham. Known to many as one of the distinct voices behind the folk inspired music of The Olympic Symphonium, Cobham’s musical lineage follows a curious path through folk, funk, rock and roll and all points in between, with his distinct vocal harmonies and passionate guitar playing crossing boundaries and blending genres.
From his earlier days performing regionally with groups like Them, The Ragtag, Fat Jebus and All of Green, to his time spent touring Canada and Europe as a member of Share and Snailhouse, and through his more recent work as a member of Heat and Lights, Force Fields and The Olympic Symphonium, it’s safe to say Cobham has left a lasting impression on hundreds (if not thousands) of music lovers the world over.
On his latest project, Some Dads, a trio with bassist Tayce McAvity and drummer Bob Deveau, Cobham confidently returns to his rock roots.
“I’ve just been sitting on a bunch of parts and riffs that I’ve had for a year or so,” said Cobham, “and I had the idea in my mind that I wanted to start a rock band of sorts just to have a different project to write for.”
Come Hither is a three-song collection that showcases his signature ability to layer catchy melodies above complex rhythmical structures that seem to flow with all the ease and familiarity of a timeless pop hit.
“I’m always interested in music that throws a wrench into predictability,” said Cobham. “I like things that sound normal but when you pick them apart there’s something bigger going on. Whether it’s just adding an extra beat or having a guitar part that’s longer than expected, I really like that stuff. You can still bob your head to it almost on a four-beat, but everything else around it is dancing through different time signatures. I love music that does it.”
Andrew Sisk spent a lot of time playing music with Cobham in the band, Share. Over two great albums – Pedestrian (2007) and Slumping in Your Murals (2009), Cobham’s unique ear for phrasing and arranging proved the perfect compliment to Sisk’s poetic lyricism.
“Nick has so much musicality,” said Sisk. “He is a great lover of music and so he can venture in so many directions when he is writing or coming up with parts. It is his musicality that ties all his talents together or perhaps it’s his talents that give him this rare quality. He can wrench out an epic guitar solo or complex riff or moving vocal harmony. He can just listen to music, arrange it in his head and summon it from his fingers or throat. It’s amazing to see.”
On Come Hither, Cobham offers a contemplative look at life with each track hinting towards the familiar stages we all face while growing up – ignorance, denial and acceptance. The opening track, For The Record, seems to touch on the arrogance of youth that exists before the real world’s influence helps to shed the veil of self-importance that comes with being young, with Cobham singing “for the record, I will do what I want to get what I want”. The second track, Stupid Doesn’t, is in some ways a vague reflection of maturity, stubbornly holding on to the past in the face of life’s growing responsibilities. The EP’s closer, Iron Chic is full-on acceptance with Cobham admitting, “Once I used to chance the night away, or tell myself to live for the day, now you’ll more than likely hear me say, what do I know anyway?”
Musically, the songs progress in a similar fashion with Cobham’s impressive vocal/guitar dexterity effectively representing his growth and maturity as a musician. And of course, each track is full of hooks and unforgettable melodies.
“To me, they just feel natural,” said Cobham. “I don’t sit down and plan to write something that has to be a certain way. They just kind of come out and it always feels like the natural thing to do.”
“Nick has finally made some new music. Nick is one of the most diverse listeners I know, and the breadth of his interests are somehow distilled into these three songs that are at once uniquely sophisticated and totally poppy, earnest and cool. The trio’s tricky prog leanings perfectly support Nick’s knack for melody and heartfelt delivery. This band deftly balances baffling extremes; the music is youthful and wise all at once, performed with tight precision and a dose of magical rock and roll abandon.”
– Michael Feuerstack
Essential Tracks Featuring Nick Cobham:
The Olympic Symphonium | Album: Chance to Fate | Track: Jasper | Listen
Michael Feuerstack | Album: Adult Lullabies | Track: Home Away From Home | Listen
Snailhouse | Album: Sentimental Gentlemen | Track: I Never Woke Up | Listen
Heat and Lights | Album: Where in the World | Track” Show Me Where to Go | Listen
Share | Album: Pedestrian | Track: The Great Before | Listen