My wife and I ventured out to George’s Roadhouse a little while back to take in a fundraiser show, raising money for the CHMA sponsored Stereophonic festival that happens in Sackville each Winter for the past 8 years or so. The talent that night consisted of Peter Bohan, Klarka Weinwurm and a Halifax favourite of mine, Cousins.
Cousins is the musical project of Aaron Mangle and I’ve been lucky enough to catch a couple of shows of his in the past. Last year as Jon McKiel released his Confidence Lodge EP, Frederick Squire and Cousins opened the night for him. I had seen both Jon and Fred perform before and absolutely loved them both, so I was excited to see who they were sharing the bill with. When Cousins took the stage and began playing, I was floored. Here was this lone individual sitting with an electric guitar and a kick drum in front of him and he was given er’ with one of the best set of vocal pipes I’ve heard. Mixing qualities of Built to Spill, Wintersleep and vocal stylings and strange arrangements of Jeff Buckley and Patrick Watson, I was stunned. Truly beautiful and compelling grungy rock coming from one man.
The more recent show at George’s was even more interesting as Aaron had his usual kick drum and guitar setup but was also accompanied by a vivacious lady pounding the drums and keeping impeccable timing. Those who know me, know I tend to hang out at the back of bars during shows. I like to feel isolated and alone and get the sound person’s take on how things should be sounding on stage. Cousins, however , even had this reserved music aficionado edging towards the stage to bob my head and intently watch an energetic and thoroughly entertaining show. As we left the bar, I snatched up a copy of Cousins, “Out On Town” and their 7” release.
Which brings me to today’s album, “Out On Town.” I’m already 4 songs in sitting in my car waiting for my wife to get off work, and I know it’s gonna be getting repeated listens over the next few weeks as I let these haunting vocals and catchy arrangements seep into my brain. Cousins, you have garnered another fan. See you soon.
“Memory, serve me well” – perhaps a mantra I will keep in mind over the coming weeks and months as i try to keep track of the music I love throughout the year.