It’s happening! Megafaun/Bon Iver/Shouting Matches/Hiss Golden Messenger/Matthew E. White fans rejoice – Phil Cook is about to release an album!
Well, “about” may be overstating things. We have to wait until September 11 for Southland Mission, but Cook made one track available yesterday — the ebullient “Great Tide,” which happens to capture my feelings about its existence quite nicely. While he’s done some work under his own name, this feels like a proper introduction for someone who has been a utility player for all those winning squads I just mentioned. (YHT: Now with 100% more sports analogies!)
I’m sure there will be more to say as the album’s release date draws nearer and more of it hits the interweb, but I’ll go ahead and add that watching Cook was one of the best parts of seeing Hiss Golden Messenger at the Broadberry back in April. The whole show was exceptional, from Natalie Prass’ opening set to MC Taylor’s songwriting, voice and disarming personality (a personal highlight was Taylor bantering “Raise your hand if you had to get a babysitter to come here tonight!”), but Cook’s overall excellence was such a generous bonus. There’s an advanced stat in baseball called VORP — Value Over Replacement Player — which measures how much more an individual player benefits the team than the average player at that position. If musical VORP was a thing, Cook’s would be off the charts. (YHT: Now with 200% more sports analogies!) He brings so much to the table — vocals, multiple instruments, joyful stage presence — without taking a single thing off. It’s gonna be fun watching him take center stage, and I really, really hope he adds a Richmond tour date.
Check out “Great Tide” below and pre-order your copy of Southland Mission here.
Phil Cook — “Great Tide” [Soundcloud]