On the 2011 album The Color by Yellowbirds, listeners are immersed in electric autoharp glissandos, bubbling 50's echo guitars, and glowing psychedelic pedal steel. Yellowbirds is the moniker for Sam Cohen, whose tenor voice and existential lyrics hover above this lush bed of sound. It's "high-fidelity stuff [with] an endearing raggedness" (Pitchfork) - the result of a life absorbing vastly different parts of America (past and present) and collaborating with an unexpected string of groundbreaking musicians.
Yellowbirds started as Cohen's bedroom recording project (after the dissolution of his previous band, Apollo Sunshine). It quickly evolved into a fully formed group including members of Twin Shadow who appear on The Color. The album was recorded in a two day studio session, then embellished in Cohen's makeshift apartment studio, subbing homemade gizmos and effects boxes for hi-end studio gear. The result has won the praise of many fellow musicians, and since the album's release, Yellowbirds have performed with Vetiver, The Fruit Bats and Josh Ritter and collaborated with Bob Weir and The National.
Cohen grew up in Houston, Texas- home to Enron, the Bush family, and the drab grey Houston Astros jerseys of today. The Texas he prefers to remember is the home of Roy Orbison, Buddy Holly, the Space Program, and the rainbow-orange Astros jerseys of yore. He now lives in Brooklyn, recording new music, making stop motion collage videos, and perpetually modifying his guitar.
Yellowbirds second album 'Songs From The Vanished Frontier,' this time recorded in Cohen's newly christened basement studio, will be released in 2013.