Cotillon: “Writing music was my window to the light”

Neu Cotillon: “Writing music was my window to the light”

Jordan Corso worked with ex-Girls producer Chet ‘JR’ White on his head-turning first work. He speaks to Ali Shutler.

Not long ago, Jordan Corso’s two guitars were stacked up under a couch in Los Angeles, a temporary fix to a broken leg that lasted a year. One break up later and, taking the energy that comes from change, he reclaimed his instruments - and Cotillon was born. He moved to New York City one week ago on a one-way ticket and today is his birthday. In between grabbing coffee from a local Vietnamese restaurant and exploring Central Park with a friend, Jordan’s in the spirit to talk about constant discovery.

‘Cotillon’ was released in America through the influential Burger Records, and it’s getting a European release at the end of June through the recently minted Super Fan 99. Going into the album, the goals were simple (“I wanted to be happy with the end product, and get it released by a label I respected”) and attainable. “I’ve been lucky enough to achieve both,” he says.

“I’ve had great conversations with the Super Fan 99 and I have a lot of faith that it’s going to do big things,” Jordan ventures. “I always wanted to be in the 001’s of a catalog so to get in at the beginning of something is a blessing. “

The album, an ambitious diary of “being young and behind, in a fast place,” swells with the diversity of songs on offer but is held together by Jordan’s strong sense of voice. “I didn’t try to balance it, I just recorded songs that I liked,” he says. “My idea was to treat every song like it’s own single while putting on display how many different genres of music I’m influenced by. It keeps listeners on their toes and help me better figure out what genre of music best suits me,” he explains. He goes on to state that the album as a whole deals with the idea of being alone and trying to make sense of that. “I was pretty open about how I was feeling, but only with myself. I was in a dark room and writing music was my window to the light.”

'Before' (above) is premiering on DIY, taken from Cotillon's S/T LP.

Working with former Girls man, Chet ‘JR’ White, after an introduction from a mutual friend, the two set about sculpting ‘Cotillon’. “He selected the songs to record, produced them, engineered them, hired the musicians that played on them and mixed the record,” Jordan lists. “I wrote about forty songs that he narrowed down to 12. His approach to producing was similar to his approach to cooking, which he’s incredible at. He focused on achieving more with less; making the tracks shine without adding a ton of shit that didn't need to be there,” he continues before adding: “I have this opinion that listeners can be distracted by recent technology and the abundance of music being released.”

Forming a band to work on your deeply personal, autobiographical world can be difficult but there’s a beauty in seeing where they take it, as Jordan describes. “JR and I spent most of the time outside of the box. He found session players in San Francisco we were fans of and left the door open for improvisation. It's an exciting feeling to go into sessions and not know what you are going to come out with.”

This recording took place at East West Studio 3, the studio where The Beach Boys’ ‘Pet Sounds’ came to life and working there “felt special.”

“I was already in uncharted water with JR before I got to digest where we were recording. I felt very grateful and took in as much of it as I could. The room was designed specifically for ‘Pet Sounds’ so we used that album as a reference and got some similar sounds.”

‘Cotillon’ is “the first band” Jordan has ever had and while it’s only a few years old, it’s become “an oiled machine that’s ready to play anytime, anywhere.” While his approach to songwriting is very open - “I think my mom worries about my mental health” - the future spans even further.

“I'm in a happy, healthy relationship now and want to move past some of those dark moments that some of those songs remind me of. I'm sick of them, hearing them, playing them. It's a thing I've been warned of by other musicians. It's why I wrote another album recently with material that would be more fun to play live,” he offers.

“I'm working on a new album with plans for it to be completed by the end of summer. I'm working with a new producer in New York who is born and raised here. The idea is to make a New York inspired record. I've always been influenced by the music made in this city from Talking Heads to Television to Arthur Russell and Philip Glass,” Jordan says. “I'm very excited about it because I'm here and it's exactly what I want to be doing with my life right now.”

Cotillon's self-titled debut it out via Super Fan 99 on the 29th June - pre-order here.

Tags: Cotillon, Features, Interviews, Neu

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