We were searching for another KCRW story to share but we came up short on our theme for the day. Sorry about that, folks. Anyway, since they are a giant compass on the Los Angeles music landscape, we figured we’d share some local music. Cotillion are a local rock band marketing themselves as “flower punk.” Last Friday they released their Votive Flower EP, a seven song post-surf rock listen about young love and young loss.
The band is led by Jordan Corso, who is responsible for lyrics, vocals, and some guitars. Jordan seems to be driving the flower punk and, apparently, had a pretty rough Summer according to the songs. He recently went through a breakup and turned to songmaking as a coping mechanism. He and guitarist friend Zachary Miller, multi-instrumentalist Christopher Norman, and percussionist Michael Madeiros formed Cotillion as a result of this initial idea. As Jordan has lengthily explained, it’s a little labor of love that they take very seriously. Votive Flower basically wears everything he wrote in his explanation on the surface (save for Jordan’s writing songs in Elysian Park and then refining them on the clock at work).
“The Devil Lives On Lyman” starts the record as its thesis: this is a breakup record and the devil in the song is the ex-girlfriend and she sucks and she also lives on Lyman. It begins with a casual acoustic strumming that leads into a super rocked out, fuzzily sung rock dirge lamenting how this girl’s love was a “tired joke.” Ouch. She must done some damage. The songs go up from there, though, with “Votive Flower 1″ literally taking a doo-wop formula and applying it to a modern high school surfer and “Dream Girl/Infection Suite” outlining the perfect woman in a rock fantasy. They can get slow (“The Fall”), playful (“I Wanna Move To Paris”), and showy (“Call Me Up”) in both tone and concept, too.
Cotillion has a very specific rock sensibility that is both now and then, making their reverby rock nicely familiar. Where they succeed is in their guitar work which–as Jordan mentions in his explanation–is from some really talented guys. The innocence of Votive Flower is very appealing and cute as Jordan bares a lot in his lyrics. The guitar work (from Zachary, Christopher, and Jordan, too) is especially sharp and well put together, enough to make some of the more flimsy songs stand strong on this sophisticated guitar foundation.
You can listen to the EP below and pick it up on Bandcamp, too. To get more on the group, check out their Facebook.