New Audio: JOVM Mainstay Tim Cohen and The Fresh & Onlys Return with an Anthemic Homage (Of Sorts) to Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man”

Over the past few years, I’ve written quite a bit about the Bay Area-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and JOVM mainstay Tim Cohen, who has written, recorded and toured with a number of different bands and creative outlets, including Magic Trick, The Fresh & Onlys (with whom, he may be the best known) and as a solo artist. And during that period do time, Cohen has managed to be remarkably prolific. Last year alone, the Bay Area-based singer/songwriter spent time touring with both Magic Trick and The Fresh & Onlys, wrote, recorded and released Magic Trick’s fourth album Other Man’s Blues and his solo debut — all while balancing the responsibilities of being a new father.

Cohen continues a prolific and busy period with a new Fresh & Onlys album, Wolf Lie Down, the first Fresh & Onlys effort in over three years. Slated for an August 25, 2017 release through Sinderlyn Records, the album reportedly finds collaborators and bandmates Cohen and Wymond Miles (guitar, production) stripping the layered sound and feel of their last few albums, with Cohen and Miles aiming to imbue the material with an uplifting and swooning romanticism paired with Cohen’s wry humor. Last month, I wrote about album title track and first single “Wolf Lie Down,” a track that found Cohen and Miles pairing layers of chugging guitars, an old-timey rock ‘n’ roll bass line, and an infectious, chant worthy hook with Cohen’s mischievously metaphysical musings in a summer road trip-worthy song that nods at the Ramones.

“Impossible Man,” Wolf Lie Down‘s second and latest single continues along a similar vein of its predecessor as it finds Cohen and Miles playing jangling power pop that mischievously nods at Cheap Trick, 50s and 60s rock and 70s AM rock simultaneously, but as Cohen explained to the folks at Consequence of Sound, “‘Impossible Man’ came from a song I came up with called ‘Invisible Man,’ based loosely on Ralph Ellison’s sole but legendary novel. In It, I fancied myself figuratively invisible, like Ellison’s protagonist, but realizing it would be construed as either a purge homage to another, expressly literal character or as a literal ghost story, I quickly changed the title to ‘Impossible Man.”  And while always possessing a wry, winking, hyper-literate irony, “Impossible Man,” much like its predecessor its wrapped around a populist sensibility and an anthemic hook.