ITASCA is the musical identity of Los Angeles-based guitarist, singer, and songwriter Kayla Cohen. Just as the name itself is ambiguous‰ÛÓa 19th-century pseudo-Ojibwe place name and portmanteau of the Latin words for ‰ÛÏtruth‰ (veritas) and ‰ÛÏhead‰ (caput). Cohen, who grew up in New York state near the Hudson River, moved from Brooklyn to L.A. in 2011. Though she began playing guitar at age thirteen, her songwriting idiom emerged gradually from her longstanding noise and drone practice. Her out-of-time recordings as Itasca‰ÛÓrefined over the course of several releases, including the acclaimed 2014 LP Unmoored by the Wind (New Images)‰ÛÓreflects both this dislocated geography and her Janus-faced gaze towards both baroque, acid folk-inflected songcraft and deconstructive, textural sonics. Her adept fingerstyle guitar work‰ÛÓnimble but unshowy, always at the service of framing her plaintively unspooling modal progressions and gorgeous, moonlit voice‰ÛÓcenters Itasca‰۪s melancholy pastorales in a hazy, heat-mirage space equally suggestive of familiarity and distance, community and anomie. Open To Chance is her first albumto feature the full band with whom she currently records and tours, including pedal steel player and frequent collaborator Dave McPeters, drummer Coleman Guyon (and occasionally Kacey Johansing), and bassist and vocalist Julia Nowak. // ‰ÛÏGorgeous acid folk reverie‰Û_ A heady slice of lysergic ladies of the canyon, with the feel of tropical microdots that dominated the These Trails and Linda Perhacs sides given a slightly more baroque dream-time feel. Some of the guitar stylings have the kind of courtly appeal of Current 93 circa Of Ruine Or Some Blazing Starre, but when she gets into more complex vortices of steel strings she comes over like Robbie Basho circa Basho Sings. This one came out of nowhere and knocked us sideways‰ÛÏ Volcanic Tongue
RIYL: Michael Chapman, Bridget St John, Mike Cooper, Steve Gunn, Kenny Knight, Ryley Walker, Sibylle Baier, Bert Jansch & Vashti Bunyan.
140g virgin vinyl LP with DL. CD with heavy-duty gatefold jacket.