Josh Cohen cites My Bloody Valentine, Portishead, and Brian Jonestown Massacre as some of his biggest influences. Under the name Blind Moon, he creates a sound steeped in dream-pop and shoegaze, with hypnotic methods of production he compares to the feeling of “dizziness.” The artist does a great job of describing his work: “The songs are based around a wall of sound which comes from crazy amounts of guitar tracks being layered on top of each other,” Cohen says. “Another extremely important part of my music is the layered, delayed, and washed-out vocals. All of what has often been described as ‘dizziness’ is then held together by a tight, mostly unaffected underlying rhythm from the drums and bass.” The description makes Cohen sound like a veteran of recording, but in reality he’s a college student living in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago, where over the past summer and fall he recorded the gorgeous Almost Nowhere EP. It’s an album that shows Cohen as well beyond his years, crafting delicate and ethereal tracks you’d expect from dream-pop and shoegaze heroes.
As is often the case, the EP tackles issues of unrequited love, which Cohen says has been “very relevant in my early years of adulthood.” There’s certainly a somber dream-like pacing to much of Cohen’s material, but it’s nothing that stymies the majestic beauty from peeking through. On the stunning “Nothing Left to Lose”, his vocals are soothing and understated, with a whirring guitar tremolo and swaying accompaniments leading the way. Cohen adjusts his voice beautifully throughout, lifting to effervescent heights during the choruses and remaining stoically somber during the trickling verses. His vocals possess a pleasant versatility that alters between soft dream-pop and ferocious rock, similar to Billy Corgan’s lushest efforts. Cohen’s superb “Cookoocoo” sounds like a cousin of Smashing Pumpkins classic “Porcelina of the Vast Oceans”. It’s that good. Thanks for hitting my sweet spot, Blind Moon. The Almost Nowhere EP will be on repeat for awhile.