Monday, May 2, 2011

Coma Cinema: Blue Suicide

     Coma Cinema is the intriguing pseudonym of South Carolinian Matt Cothran, who began writing as a teenager in 2005. 'Blue Suicide' is his third output in three years, which is the first to be physically released as a vinyl. The initial impression I got from the title and album cover was that of trepidation. Had Coma Cinema developed an unpleasant fascination with suicide? Upon closer inspection, I found the initially growling dog to be yawning or licking his lips, and so I delved into this record, strangely curious.
     This isn't a punk or rock album, I should explain. Only thirty-five minutes long, this is a beautiful collection of lo-fi inspired tracks, tied together with folk-like vibes. As I listened, I caught glimpses of Bright Eyes in the music, from the religious messages seen on 'Cassadaga' to Matt's soothing voice. Some songs also gave off a Mumford and Sons feel, with consistent drum beats and similar vocals. This is far from repetitive though. The calm and soothing tracks are often broken apart by Brit-pop melodies that emulate that of The Kinks or John Lennon.
     The lyrics on this album are hardly optimistic, from "giving  birth in the prison pit" to "no one cares it's easier to quit". Cothran writes quite dark stuff, and in that sense this album is the one that delves the most into the sorrow and sadness that obviously inspires most of his songs. Through the gloom though, there are pinpricks of bright pop gems, such as 'Caroline' that lift the mood and offer a willingness to let go a bit and dance around the living room. 
     The real beauty of this album though, is Cothrans's ability to judge his music. He never goes on for so long that you get bored, yet he never cuts a song too short. There is a balance here between the instrumental sections and the singing that makes the album feel polished and complete, despite the slight lo-fi recording quality.
     Overall, if you're a  fan of honest folk-infused songs, dusted in lo fi, then check this out. This is a wonderful record, from the soothing vocals and insightful lyrics to the more upbeat tracks that cheer you up no end. This album is available as a record, but you can also download it for free from Coma Cinemas website. On a side note, my font size on this post seems to be playing up, so sorry about that.