Los Angeles has served as the backdrop for many a music video over the years, and in the new cut for “Animals” by Eddie Cohn, the city indeed feels like a muse once more. Cohn wanders dead streets that seem to evolve before us, coming to life in the color and aural magic my man summons from the instrumentation. His harmonies impart an emotionality that the urban landscape matures and presents to us, the viewers, as something just about anyone who has felt the isolation of the past year can relate to. “Animals” is artsy for sure, but it isn’t lacking in substance from any angle.
The instrumental elements making up this track are both physical and yet quietly responsible for shaping the tone of the music more than they are supporting the lyrics exclusively, a feature far more common in classical crossovers than it is in most modern pop/rock. This isn’t the only manner in which “Animals” feels sophisticated, but when taking apart the compositional componentry alongside the dynamics of the performance Cohn is giving up here, it becomes more than a little difficult to deny the intellectual value of what he’s producing inside of the studio these days.
Cohn’s vocal has a subtle command over every working part of the track, with the verses he utters creating a pattern of rhythm that everything from the drums to the bassline will meticulously shadow. Every ounce of the spotlight has been directed towards him here, but rather than shying away from the exposure, he runs head-first into it, implying a deeper desire to be heard that transcends any lyrics he could have sung to us in “Animals.” He’s coming undone in this piece, and in some ways transforming into a werewolf of an emotional being right before our very ears.
Although the lyrical content here is generally optimistic in the most outright sense a brooding pop track can be, they’re conveyed with such a feeling of uncertainty through Eddie Cohn’s melodic twist on the verses that it’s impossible to ignore the understated sentiments in the narrative. We’re wandering into a forest of unknowns in this song, exploring it behind the stride of Cohn’s every word, and the scarring that he’s developed over his heart is the only compass we’re equipped with. To call the vibe in this release intimate wouldn’t be giving its composer the credit he deserves; this is likely the deepest he’s ever gone in a single.
Surprisingly more emotional with every listen you afford it, the consistently spellbinding Eddie Cohn delivers chills galore in “Animals” that few releases by indie singer/songwriters have in recent memory. His feelings are only part of the wager he makes in this track; truth be told, his soul seems to be the most vital factor defining his performance here, and anyone who wants more depth out of their pop music this summer would be wise to give “Animals” a shot to understand what I’m talking about. My gut tells me that most alternative enthusiasts won’t be disappointed.