Louis Cole is a singer-songwriter and sickeningly talented multi-instrumentalist with a strong DIY aesthetic from Los Angeles, California. He is on a mission to create deep feelings through music and is the figurehead of an LA jazz-adjacent scene that includes Genevieve Artadi (with whom Cole co-founded the alt pop / electrofunk band KNOWER in 2009), Sam Gendel, Sam Wilkes, Jacob Mann, Dennis Hamm, Pedro Martins and more. He will release his new album “Quality Over Opinion” on 14th October 2022 on Brainfeeder Records.
20 tracks deep, it was written, performed and produced on his own in his modest home studio, but Louis did invite a handful of close friends to contribute, namely Genevieve Artadi (“my no.1 music collaborator”); saxophonist Sam Gendel – Cole’s friend for 17 years; pianist Chris Fishman; Nate Wood from the band Kneebody; Marlon Mackey (“a pillar of the Bakersfield music scene”); and guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel. “This album is a representation of me trying to make the best, most powerful and listenable music I can. For myself and also others,” he says.
Louis’s main instrument is the drums and he has a background in jazz although the music he writes bears little resemblance to jazz in any pure or classical sense. His connection to the movement is more conceptual: “The root of jazz is pure freedom… no limits… just what you’re thinking right at that moment… a pure blast of limitlessness”. Accordingly Cole’s touchstones for “Quality Over Opinion” include boundary-pushing composers such as Gustav Mahler and György Ligeti alongside jazz icons like Miles Davis, the Swedish extreme metal band Meshuggah, Morten Lauridsen (distinguished professor of music and American Choral Master) and Super Mario Kart. “There is no continuous thread of a story on this album, each song expresses its own moment in my life and time,” explains Louis. “I was inspired by joy, pain and the constant mission to pull something out of life around me”.
New single ‘I’m Tight’ arrives hot on the heels of ‘Let it Happen’ – “a timeless modern power ballad classic” released earlier this month. In contrast, ‘I’m Tight’ is a sleek, laser-focused Funk rocket, based on an utterly irresistible bassline. “It comes from me recording about 100 different cells of funk, choosing my favorite ones and quilting them together into a song,” says Louis. “I had to practice the bass part a lot for this one,” he adds, smiling.
Cole’s insane musicianship is no secret – he’s been sharing performance videos on YouTube for a decade – growing a dedicated fanbase who appreciate both his craft and off-the-wall style. Drums, bass, keys… he has a monk-like attitude to practice and perfecting his art. Thundercat describes him as “one of Los Angeles's greatest musicians” and earlier this year invited him to play drums on his recent tour of Japan. The pair have frequently written together including on the aptly titled ‘I Love Louis Cole’ from Thundercat’s Grammy-winning album “It Is What It Is”, ‘Bus in the Streets’ and ‘Jameel’s Space Ride’ (from Thundercat’s 2017 opus “Drunk”) and ‘Tunnels in the Air’ for Louis’ 2018 album “Time”. Flying Lotus has also expressed admiration for Louis, calling him “super inspirational” during the writing of his 2019 album “Flamagra”.
Touring incessantly, Louis sold out two shows at EartH Hackney (1k cap) in London during his last UK tour. He has also appeared at North Sea Jazz Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival, Newport Jazz Festival, Rock En Seine, Jazz a Vienne, Jazz à la Villette, Wonderfruit, Vancouver Jazz Festival, Maiden Voyage and more. Last year Louis embarked on his biggest collaboration to date with the Grammy-winning Metropole Orkest conducted by Jules Buckley, for a string of unique shows in the Netherlands, with more to come in 2023. This October he will tour the US with his big band.
1. Quality Over Opinion
2. Dead Inside Shuffle
3. Not Needed Anymore
4. Shallow Laughter
5. Bitches (feat. Sam Gendel)
6. Message (feat. Chris Fishman & Nate Wood)
7. Failing in a Cool Way
9. I’m Tight
10. True Love
11. Planet X
12. Let Me Snack (feat. Marlon Mackey)
14. Park Your Car on My Face
15. Don’t Care (feat. Genevieve Artadi)
16. Laughing in Her Sleep
17. Outer Moat Behavior
18. When (feat. Kurt Rosenwinkel)
19. Let it Happen
20. Little Piano Thing