Notes On Music By Lloyd Cole: Gillian Welch And David Rawlings

Lloyd Cole first made a name for himself in 1984 with the Commotions, the British band he founded in Scotland before relocating to New York City four years later. Since, he has released records both as a solo artist and with the Negatives. Now based in western Massachusetts, Cole recently formed the Small Ensemble. The trio is joined by the likes of Fred Maher, Joan Wasser and Kendall Meade for new album Broken Record (Tapete), Cole’s first “rock” LP in almost a decade. Cole will also be guest editing all week. Read our new Q&A with him. Says Cole as an introduction/disclaimer for his guest-editing posts, “I am 50 years old. More than twice the age I was when I began making music. I have developed opinions, certainly, and these opinions have evolved, but I can only speak for myself. I am still astonished by music. I am still perplexed by it. I am still moved by it. I am still revulsed by it. And I am more and more confused by how others make use of music in their lives. Music seems to be everywhere. Here are some of my thoughts on it.”

Cole: Gillian Welch can surely write a song and sing it, and the sound these two make with just two guitars and two vocals, recorded live in the studio, is enormous. Their harmonies sound like they grew up singing together. I’m always in awe of that. T Bone Burnett’s production seems to be old school in the best possible way. I suspect he’a all about getting the song written and arranged properly, then placing the mics. When you’ve done that, all you need is the take.

It’s been eight years since Soul Journey. I guess I didn’t start listening until after they had stopped. Or paused. David Rawlings released a solo record last year, but another Gillian record soon would be nice.