Psychedelic duo’s parallel universe

Cohen and Wildgoose
Cohen and Wildgoose
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CohenWildgoose’s headquarters look like nothing more than a Hillsborough terrace from the outside.

But here within the bowels of this Victorian dwelling, Sheffield’s most anticipated songwriting duo are busy recording their latest album.

The mysterious space they occupy – known as Bellymouth Studios – is in the cellar of a 19th century house. And here, they have spent most of this year writing and recording their latest album.

Known as BloochyKoo, the album is packed with psychedelic twists, catchy hooks, surreal lyrics and Ween-like nods to a parallel universe in which monkeys have mobile phones and the Beatles (circa 1967) have been projected into 2014.

But the songwriting duo are still at the ‘editing’ process.

“We have to reduce this list to an album’s worth,” says guitarist and main vocalist Rob Cohen. But that’s not easy. The duo play through the entire list, debating each song as it’s played through enormous monitors.

Multi-instrumentalist and producer Jody Wildgoose says: “All the songs are favourites in a way, that’s what makes it hard. But I particularly like Stars, Sky and Sun and Blue Blue,” he says. “Stars, Sky and Sun is a single I think and Blue Blue is a keeper.

Both Cohen and Wildgoose have a good ear for a song. Cohen has been playing in bands since his late teens and Wildgoose – a multi-instrumentalist – rose to fame at the tender age of 13 with his band Various Vegetables, who were signed to Warp records.

At 16 the musical maverick decided to go his own way.

In 2005 he released the critically-acclaimed Afterlife, which fused Ween-like psychedelia with compact pop.

It is indeed no surprise to learn that this is a man raised on Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix.

In fact, Hendrix emanates from BloochyKoo. Backwards guitars – the type immortalised in Hendrix’s delightful ditty, Castles Made of Sand – abound on the album

“I really like backwards guitars,” says Wildgoose.

But much of the raw material of BloochyKoo was provided by Cohen: “I’d just email Jody these tracks and they’d come back and blow my mind. What he does to them is magic. Jody would take all the extraneous matter out and make it sound really clean and melodic.”

There is definitely a signature sound to CohenWildgoose, one that’s defined by spacious, ethereal layers and light but rhythmic beats, which is entirely appropriate for the subject matter.”

“A lot of lyrics are about peace and enlightenment and love and coming together,” says Cohen. “It’s about life, death and everything else cosmic.”

But Wildgoose – who doesn’t write the lyrics – has other thoughts.

“Rob’s an unintentional love song writer.”

While BloochyKoo – the spiritual mother of the universe dreamt up by Cohen – is catchy, it doesn’t follow a standard pop formula.

“It’s not a concept album but nor are the songs chorus-verse-chorus.

“I suppose it’s a concept album without being a concept album,” he laughs.

For details of CohenWildgoose’s release date, watch this space.