Cotillon
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Cotillon

Los Angeles, California, United States

Los Angeles, California, United States
Pop Garage Rock

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We were searching for another KCRW story to share but we came up short on our theme for the day. Sorry about that, folks. Anyway, since they are a giant compass on the Los Angeles music landscape, we figured we’d share some local music. Cotillion are a local rock band marketing themselves as “flower punk.” Last Friday they released their Votive Flower EP, a seven song post-surf rock listen about young love and young loss.

The band is led by Jordan Corso, who is responsible for lyrics, vocals, and some guitars. Jordan seems to be driving the flower punk and, apparently, had a pretty rough Summer according to the songs. He recently went through a breakup and turned to songmaking as a coping mechanism. He and guitarist friend Zachary Miller, multi-instrumentalist Christopher Norman, and percussionist Michael Madeiros formed Cotillion as a result of this initial idea. As Jordan has lengthily explained, it’s a little labor of love that they take very seriously. Votive Flower basically wears everything he wrote in his explanation on the surface (save for Jordan’s writing songs in Elysian Park and then refining them on the clock at work).

“The Devil Lives On Lyman” starts the record as its thesis: this is a breakup record and the devil in the song is the ex-girlfriend and she sucks and she also lives on Lyman. It begins with a casual acoustic strumming that leads into a super rocked out, fuzzily sung rock dirge lamenting how this girl’s love was a “tired joke.” Ouch. She must done some damage. The songs go up from there, though, with “Votive Flower 1? literally taking a doo-wop formula and applying it to a modern high school surfer and “Dream Girl/Infection Suite” outlining the perfect woman in a rock fantasy. They can get slow (“The Fall”), playful (“I Wanna Move To Paris”), and showy (“Call Me Up”) in both tone and concept, too.

Cotillion has a very specific rock sensibility that is both now and then, making their reverby rock nicely familiar. Where they succeed is in their guitar work which–as Jordan mentions in his explanation–is from some really talented guys. The innocence of Votive Flower is very appealing and cute as Jordan bares a lot in his lyrics. The guitar work (from Zachary, Christopher, and Jordan, too) is especially sharp and well put together, enough to make some of the more flimsy songs stand strong on this sophisticated guitar foundation.

You can listen to the EP below and pick it up on Bandcamp, too. To get more on the group, check out their Facebook. - I'm Yours


Cotillon // Votive Flower EP
No Label
3.9/5 Pies

Recommended Track: Call Me Up

Self-proclaimed flower punks Cotillon are not the sort of hippies that go to love-ins to sit and play their bongos in the dirt. While their debut EP Votive Flower is essentially a breakup album à la the French New Wave, these kids can play. Cotillon was born out of starry-eyed musings in Elysian Park, the sort of place where Range Rover socialites clash with ergonomic bikes and organic coffee shops. It is a place the Mothers of Invention would’ve loathed. Votive Flower uses the guileless lyricism of bleeding heart musicians like Girls’ Christopher Owens to illustrate just how vapid relationships in this sort of environment can be.

“The Devil Lives on Lyman” is singer Jordan Corso’s lo-fi 90's ode to his former residence and the coke happy girlfriend he lived with there. Second track “Call Me Up” is a poppy jab at gold diggers and their benefactors with an infectious hook and some great melodic guitar work. “I Wanna Move to Paris” is simplistic songwriting to the nth degree with lines like “Oh I really want her bad/I know I’ll only make her sad”. Despite the lyrical shortcomings, Corso’s strung out drawl is fuzzy enough that they don’t feel infantile.

“Votive Flower 1” is probably the most telling of Cotillon’s background aesthetic. Corso croons about apple bottoms and getting past first base, claiming “I don’t play football and I don’t run track/I ride a surfboard and I smoke a lot of grass”. Guitar-driven closer “Votive Flower 2” sounds like some of the lighter tracks from Ty Segall’s Goodbye Bread. Drummer Michael Medeiros keeps the cymbals crashing steadily as the song builds from mellow surf riffs into an epic instrumental finale. Aside from being a bit heavy-handed with the emotions and some kitschy one liners, this is a solid first effort from a bunch of LA kids lookin’ for love in all the wrong places. - Lo-Pie Music Blog


French New Wave films usually portray fleeting moments of human connection. The relationship start like a fairly tale (when two people are infatuated with each other), then things get complicated when they get to know each other on a deeper level (boredom begins to set in), and finally, grow apart without any defining reason. Inspired by this transitory period, Jordan Corso wrote Votive Flower with his band Cotillon, a seven track EP of fuzzy garage tunes that illustrate the difficulty of maintaining a relationship in the bustling urbanity of Los Angeles. The overall core of the record is informed by garage, but a closer listen unravels much more depth than it seems at first glance - the mid-tempo drive of "I Wanna Move to Paris" has a jangly, upbeat vibe reminiscent of Teenage Fanclub; "The Fall" invokes a classic country-meets-R&B dirge with its strained guitar licks, and "The Devil Lives in Lyman" has a strong pop hook alongside its old-school reverb drench. Corson's snotty, disaffected vocals are the centerpiece in a story that brims with awkward, lyrical quips and lovestruck clichés. A sad record indeed, but its light burns bright. - The Deli


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

Hearing stories of their father surfing Malibu with Miki Dora, sneaking into Mexico, and spending summers hitchhiking the California coast with a surfboard, a girl, a pocket-full of psychedelics, and a Pet Sounds LP, along with their combined love for all things French New Wave, inspired brothers Jordan and Zachary to form Cotillon alongside their close friend Michael.

The music remains heavily indebted to this heritage whilst applying French New wave's portrayal of love to their fuzzy brand of garage pop.

Together they arranged, and recorded the music for their first EP, entitled Votive Flower.

The theme of Votive Flower was inspired by Jordan's daily sojourns to Elysian Park during his allotted hour lunch breaks from the daily grind.

While contemplating over the drone of his acoustic guitar, he came to the realization that the life cycle of a flower perfectly mirrors that of his recently failed relationship: starting as nothing more than seed and eventually blossoming into beautiful bloom, the energy and effort invested in it wilts in vain with its inevitable downfall and eventual decay, ultimately vanishing back into the nothingness from where it came. This parallel combined with Jordan's love affair with Camus' The Fall, and Jean-Luc Godard scripts are the main influences behind his lyrics.