COHO EP Release show at Barboza

COHO at Barboza (Photo by Christine Mitchell)

COHO at Barboza (Photo by Christine Mitchell)

As COHO prepped their gear for their set celebrating the release of their debut EP Graves at Barboza last Saturday night, they were grooving and lip-syncing along to Kendrick Lamar’s “Backseat Freestyle.” The crowd was grooving along. the beer was flowing freely, and the room grew hot and humid, bodies bouncing to the thudding bass. Then COHO’s set began, and the room became enmeshed and entranced by the music, music that held on to a hip-hop beat whilst introducing layers of introspective, ambient keyboard/synth along with similarly inward-looking vocals.

Vocalist/keyboardist Laura has a voice like Adele, no joke, and it’s a fine thing. The rest of the crew is a bunch of young dudes (Bradley, Danny, Shane, Tommy, and Zach) who swap percussion, keys, and various stringed instruments, also taking turns at vocals. It’s a fully-fleshed sound that is very danceable, if a bit more on the ballad side speed-wise. COHO’s fans ate every song up and begged for more.

The Pro-Nouns started the night off with country-tinged garage rock tunes that were well-received by the audience. Planes On Paper continued on their course toward total domination of the PNW folk scene with their heady-pithy, stop-you-in-your-tracks music. The room had filled with people ready to party, so it was sort of adorable to hear rowdy roars of appreciation for Navid Eliot and Jen Borst, as it wasn’t their usual, subdued crowd. It seemed to take them by surprise, in a very good way on a fine, fine night.

Christine Mitchell has been poring over album liner notes pretty much since she acquired the skill of reading, and figured out the basic structure of rock songs at an early age. Whether it’s the needle popping into the first groove of the record, the beeps that signal the beginning (or end) of a cassette tape, or digital numbers ticking off the seconds from zero, music brings Christine happiness, ponderous thought, opportunities for almost scientific study, and sometimes a few tears. When she started attending live shows two decades ago, a whole new piece of the puzzle clicked in and she has been hooked ever since.