Prism Tongue Records
Ora Cogan is an interesting artist. She always has several tricks up her sleeve, and when one gets ready to listen to her new album, one never fully knows what to expect. Formless, for example, is a different sounding Ora Cogan. Not only has she matured and grown as an artist, but she also continues to forge ahead with her music and explore different areas than she has in the past. though it does have her trademark voice and lyrics. It also shows an artist reaching new heights. Formless is her ninth album, and her first since 2020’s Bells For Ruins..
Working once again with David Parry, and writing all but one track, Cogan has delivered a wonderful album which not only highlights her brilliant vocals but also her ability to write strong and melodic tunes. Her guitar skills are also quite strong. “Holy Hells”, for example, has an incredibly melodic tune and literally flows. Although there are hints of her influences throughout the album, Cogan really has her own distinct style. “High Noon” for example, provides a glimpse as to how The Byrds would have sounded in the 1990s, but is still her own sound in the end.
“Ways Of Losing”, which features Luz Elena Mendoza of Y La Bamba on vocals, has a beautiful vocal arrangement and sparse instrumentation. She also covers Lhasa de Sela’s “Is Anything Wrong”. She stays faithful to the original arrangement but adds her style and texture. Both of those tracks demonstrate what Cogan can do with minimal instrumentation and the use of her voice. It is quite remarkable. It is also interesting to note that she has recorded a new version of “Katie Cruel” from her album released ten years ago, Ribbon Vine.
Formless is anything but formless. Cogan has put together an incredible album with help from her friends and fellow artists. This album is 100% pure Cogan. It is full of beautiful melodies and introspective lyrics. She is an artist that continues to grow and to explore different sounds.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: ORA COGAN – FORMLESS