Coves' Demos Offer Sneak Peak At Their Upcoming Album.
Back in the fall, silky-voiced Denton singer-songwriter Roy Robertson was given some demos from Caleb Ian Campbell (of Polycorns fame) and asked to help Campbell pull off the songs in a live setting. Robertson began playing simple keyboard parts along with drummer Benny Bailey. They called themselves Coves. Eventually, Jeremy Buller came along to play bass and round out the the lineup.
In December, Coves released some Eric Nichelsen-produced, Robert Gomez-mixed demos on their BandCamp page as a teaser for their upcoming full-length. The tracks were promising, with Campbell's fingerprints obviously all over them, albeit in a much more nonchalant way than his prior works. The still-keyboard-heavy demos were allowed to develop more organically at their own pace, letting the game come to the band instead of feeling too forced. Even at their more deliberate pace, Campbell's upper register is able to shine through, this time with appropriate vocal effects on the tracks — not sounding quite as electronically altered as a Julian Casablancas but not as piercing as an Ezra Koenig either.
Finally, this past weekend, we were able to catch the band's live set at the Mellow Mushroom as part of the 35 Denton festival. The live versions of Coves' songs are decidedly more guitar-heavy than their demo counterparts, with Robertson rarely using more than two fingers on the keyboards at any given time. We also noticed this being the case with the few final mixes from the album that we've received to preview as well.
Coves' overall body of work is subtle but deliberate, understated yet precise. For instance, we heard another member of the local media joke sarcastically during the band's 35 Denton set, “I wonder if Caleb took guitar lessons.” The mix of Campbell's vocals, the way his intricate guitar parts interplay with the bass lines, and Bailey's falsetto backing vocals all gave the set a very Vampire Weekend vibe — albeit Vampire Weekend taking benzos.
And, yes, we mean that in the best way possible.
Download their demos below while awaiting the release of their upcoming LP.