OraCogan
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OraCogan

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2006 | INDIE | AFM

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | INDIE | AFM
Established on Jan, 2006
Band Folk Experimental

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This band has not uploaded any videos

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"Ora Cogan - Ribbon Vine (Hairy Spider Legs)"

British Columbian singer, guitarist, and songwriter Ora Cogan might never have released her fifth album at all if local label Hairy Spider Legs (also home to Spires That in the Sunset Rise) hadn't offered to put it out more than two years after she recorded it. When she made this record she was traveling in Spain, and immediately afterward she took a two-year hiatus from music, devoting herself to environmental activism. Ribbon Vine is dreamy, mysterious alt-folk of rare beauty, with fingerpicked guitar that laps like water on pebbles and sweet drones like breezes in the pines, all of it caressing Cogan's clear voice, which at times reminds me a bit of Maddy Prior from Steeleye Span. Cogan performs Thu 4/4 at the Empty Bottle, opening for Spires. —Monica Kendrick - The Chicago Reader


"Ora Cogan - Ribbon Vine"

The fragile, pastoral rituals on Ora Cogan‘s fifth full-length betray the locale of the recordings. While Cogan recorded Ribbon Vine, her new album for Hairy Spider Legs, in Spain, the production and songcraft on the album is perfectly suited for anonymous drifting across the Americas. Cogan delivers several songs on her own (or with minimal backing), but even when she assembles her quartet, the elements are bare and clear. Together, the quartet converge to accent Cogan’s unmatched voice and writing. The result is a stark artefact that invokes the rough, striking beauty of a prairie and the subtle repetitions of traditional Folk.
Cogan arranged the music on Ribbon Vine with Max Jones, and on the ensemble songs the duo of guitarists is joined by Marcos Junquera on drums and Xavi Muñoz, who plays bass. On the surface, the group creates a feeling of stillness with their playing, providing a foundation that drones behind Cogan’s vocals. Beneath that surface, a rollicking tension between guitar bowing and percussive movement rustles along, sometimes unexpectedlybreaking through. The extension of the bowing and bass, as well as the use of rolling, brushed drums allows the players to counter percussive guitar strums with a continuous energy.
Meandering rhythms create the energy of the album, but it’s overall emotion emanates from the elements of its droning opening track, “Black Swells,” whose relative detachment contrasts with the more direct songs that follow. Opening the album in this way, the players effectively clear the way for the sparser offerings that follow in the drone’s decay, and it is in this decay that the mood of the opening track continues to reverberate. From now on, Cogan’s voice becomes the primary instrument.
Capturing the essence of Cogan’s voice in writing is a challenge; her approach to signing is both transient and vital, resulting in a wild range of sounds and singular timbre, and the players on the album effectively embellish Cogan’s voice with their clear, clean accompaniment. As a result, Cogan carries the tension and becomes the emotional focal point of the songs, while the guitar, bass, and gentle percussion are unwavering in their support for her message. “Katie Cruel” builds up a swirling, steady backing that is released in striking chord stabs on “Everyday,” closing the A-side.
As the A-side follows the meandering drone of “Black Swells” by shifting focus to Cogan’s voice, the B-side solidifies that theme in straightforward structures. Cogan’s solo performance on the title track is the exception, showcasing a restless guitar style that mimics her vocals and rustles with the kind of scattered tension that defines Ribbon Vine. Cogan’s cover of Lee Hazlewood’s “Summer Wine” provides a contrast, with a more straightforward delivery directly engaging the listener with her voice.
Contrasting “Ribbon Vine” and “Summer Wine” underscores a deceptive feeling about the album as a whole, reminding the listener that even when the album feels simple, straightforward, or clear cut, the energy of the performances carries a creative, emotional tension. Cogan both deceives and invites on Ribbon Vine, drawing the listener down a winding path as the open prairie stretches out to the horizon. - Decoder Magazine


"Ora Cogan - Ribbon Vine"

“Ora’s brand new luscious record is here! Totally beautiful and packed full of layers of soft soundscape/dark folk drone meditations! Recorded meticulously by Jesse Taylor at Nite Prison in East Van. A lot of work went into this breathtaking new effort! A masterpiece in epic song writing from one the best and unique artists around!” - Nominal REcords


"Chart Discovery: Ora Cogan (CJSW), Rackets (95bFM), Screature (KDVS)"

Each week the CMJ staff sifts through thousands of radio playlists that contribute to the weekly CMJ charts. In the Chart Discovery column, we highlight exciting artists, albums and songs brought to our attention by the charts of our reporting panel of college and non-commercial radio stations. This round’s picks come via CJSW in Alberta, CA, 95bFM in Auckland, NZ, and KDVS in Davis, CA.
Ora Cogan on CJSW

The first few seconds of Ora Cogan’s Crystallize EP will fill the hole Fleet Foxes left behind, but with a new twist. This artist has an extremely unique voice that soothes as it provides a soundtrack for adventure. - www.CMJ.com


"(listen) Ora Cogan: Move"

Only once in a blue moon do I come across a piece of music that stirs up such strong yet undefinable and moving feelings. Salt Spring Island gem Ora Cogan’s recent track ‘Move,’ is one of those songs. A ghost melody symbiotically strummed by guitar and banjo act as a palette for Cogan’s lyrics to soar over with pastel shades. Cogan’s voice is as beautiful and haunting as the call of a mythic siren beneath saltwater depths, bursting with earthy fragility, and an otherworldly shimmer and strength. The second track on Cogan’s Crystallize EP (a shortened version of a forthcoming LP with the same name), ‘Move’ coats our ears in gentle epiphanies, coaxing us into a spellbinding state of surrender. - Ride The Tempo


"Sneak Peek // Ora Cogan Releases “Fortresses”"

Sad Mag: You’re no stranger to Van­cou­ver. Where did we see you last? What have you been up to?

Ora Cogan: Van­cou­ver is awe­some! It will always be a home to me and I come pretty often to visit and work on cre­ative projects, etc…

Since I’ve been gone… Well, I made some dear friends from Bella Bella and worked on a short doc­u­men­tary called No Tankers Ter­ri­tory about Heilt­suk Women’s per­spec­tives on the North­ern Gate­way Pipeline and con­tributed some music to the sound track of a film called North­ern Grease also deal­ing with tar sands and pipelines and all that insanity.

I also started mak­ing recy­cled sil­ver jew­elry under the name Heavy Meadow that helps to pay for all this music silliness.

With music, I’ve been work­ing on a few projects other than Fortresses:

I’ve started play­ing with E.S.L.’s Joy Mullen. We’ll prob­a­bly have some sort of band in the near future.

I recorded a new EP called “Crys­tal­lize” with Trish Klein from Hid­den City Records at Otic Sound in Van­cou­ver. It was a really won­der­ful expe­ri­ence. We got to work with Zach from Sum­mer­ing on drums, Caton (C.Diab) on bass and Chris Ger­strin among oth­ers. I’m really happy with how it turned out.

SM: What has drawn you towards this ethe­real post-Americana style?

OC: I spent quite a lot of time lis­ten­ing to old blues like Geeshie Wiley, and Skip James as well as Mediter­ranean music like Marika Papagika and Rem­betika… As far as aes­thet­ics go, I’ve always been a bit of a dreamer… I like mak­ing music that sounds landscape-ish and roman­tic. I am also pretty nature obsessed, so I’ve writ­ten a lot of songs that are kind of about human drama, but also [about] a place I’ve had some kind of con­nec­tion with.

SM: Was it always nat­ural for you to be a performer?

OC: Haha… Hell no. I get so ner­vous. Some­times the songs are so per­sonal and it can be hard to get into being that vul­ner­a­ble or I worry if it’s really valu­able to other peo­ple, but I’m start­ing to finally see how sim­i­lar we are and it’s eas­ier to just con­nect think­ing that way. Music is such a great way to find auton­omy too and l love play­ing live shows even when it’s a bit scary. Impro­vis­ing keeps things pretty real. I’ve also been using visual pro­jec­tions and exper­i­ment­ing with dif­fer­ent approaches. - SAD MAG


"El nuevo folk es canadiense"

ORA COGAN
Letras con mensaje y una voz suave le han valido el calificativo de artista de ‘folk-noir’

Bucólica y reivindicativa. «Suena cursi, pero el paisaje [vive en la costa oeste de la isla de Vancouver] ha afectado mi acercamiento a la música». Entre sus referentes, Lhasa de Sela o Karen Dalton. «Si hay una forma de abordar la política y la justicia social en nuestra generación es a través del folk», dice.

Sonido clandestino. Ha coproducido su nuevo disco, Cristallize, del cual grabó parte en un club de jazz secreto y parte en una casa. Acaba de lanzarlo como EP en vinilo con Hidden City Records. Su próximo proyecto, Fortresses, mezclará música electrónica, sonidos del campo, piano...

Banda española. Hace un par de años conoció en Valencia a los músicos Marcos Junquera y Xavi Muñoz, con quienes compuso el disco Ribbon Vine. «Pusimos nuestros corazones. Fueron cinco intensos días de trabajo y grabamos todas las canciones en vivo». Acaba de compartir escenario con ellos en una gira, y también con la chilena afincada en España Soledad Vélez. - S MODA


Discography

2007 - Tatter
2010 - The Quarry
2013 - Ribbon Vine
2015 - Crystallize EP

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Bio

Ora Cogan is an innovative songwriter from the West Coast of Canada. For over 10 years she has been captivating audiences with her post-Americana guitar playing and ethereal, poetic songwriting while actively touring throughout North America and Europe and releasing 6 albums to date. Ora’s unique vocal style defies easy categorization, contemporary yet shimmering with echoes of jazz, gospel, and Appalachia, drawing comparisons to the likes of Jolie Holland, Karen Dalton, and Angel Olsen.


Band Members