Cots, is The solo project of Montreal/Guelph composer, singer, and guitarist Steph Yates. Her music is inspired by elements of bossa nova, folk, jazz, and classical. Cots will release her new album Disturbing Body on August 11, via Boiled Records. The LP was Produced by Sandro Perri, and engineered by recording artist Scott Merritt,
“These songs, for the most part, have to do with the heart, something I was shy to write about previously,” Yates reveals. “It’s possible my deepening love for Brazilian music, wherein some of my favourite artists sing freely about o coração, emboldened me in this way. As a collection, the songs give a prismatic view of a lone heart in its course having known closeness and having known loss.”
Lead-track “Flowers” captures this liminal essence, reflecting cycles of death and spring with evident tension, as ascending melodies buoy Yates’s story of an old friend’s funeral-cum-wedding ceremony. “Dying makes a sort of paste / It’s good for the eyes / Dying makes a sort of cloud / It broadens the sky.” Accompanied by director Yuula Benivolski’s short film, in which hands adorn Yates’s unclothed corpse in petals, “Flowers” touches on the darkest of subjects while gliding on the 60s French bossa of Nouvelle Vague.
“‘Flowers’ is a meditation on death—death as essential, awful, tragic, beautiful, mysterious.” Yates says. “My vantage point at this time was not pressed close to death; I felt at a distance from it. I let it take on an abstract form in my writing.”
Sparked by her fascination with mathematics’ vast poetic potential, and the power of celestial mechanics, Disturbing Body explores the unexplainable interactions of interstellar bodies and human beings alike. The title – inspired by the phrase for a planet whose gravitational pull alters another planet’s course – speaks similarly to the disruptive nature of love. The album’s title track – available here as a B-side to the single – is a starry, forlorn, and askew dirge that pulls you into mysterious passages of metallic percussion, bass solo, and strands of near silence.
“I find it strange, unsettling, mysterious; how incalculable the experience of feeling drawn to someone is,” Yates says. “Human bodies are like celestial ones; just as a planet’s course is carved out in relation to others, our course – where we go and what we do – is compelled by forces of attraction.”
After residual effects of a concussion left Cots uncertain how to finish the record on her own, she reached out to Toronto musician and producer Sandro Perri about working together – his production notes of “play louder” and “sing plainer” eventually making indelible marks on the contours of each song. Disturbing Body found its rhythm over four cosy days in Guelph at The Cottage studio, run by Canadian veteran recording artist and engineer Scott Merritt.
1. Disturbing Body
2. Bitter Part of the Fruit
3. Sun-Spotted Apple
5. Inertia of a Dream
7. Salt or Sand
8. Our Breath
9. Last Sip
10. Midnight at the Station
Pre-order Disturbing Body by Cots HERE