I tried starting this a few times. Once I talked about Kant, once I free associated. Nothing worked, and that’s because I think it’s nearly impossible to say enough (or, even, to say anything properly, to really express in words) about Coma Cinema, the brainchild of pop genius down-on-his-lucksmith Mat Cothran. The depth of emotion and grasp of beauty expressed in the forty-some songs Mat has put out under the Coma Cinema moniker is disarming, arresting, and astonishing. Some songs are about giving up, some are about drugs, most are about love; but what they all seem to share in common is a desire of (and, indeed, insistence on) being human, connecting, communicating, however that happens; whether by apathy or acid, romance or heartbreak, Coma Cinema’s songs don’t waste time flashing bright and false colors. Most songs are under two and a half minutes (at least a quarter on Baby Prayers are under two minutes). The songs range from the fragile collapse of “Flower Pills” to the walkabout fuck-it jam of “Come On Apathy!” I wish I could express this is some cleverer or more elegant way, but there is only one way to say it: Coma Cinema’s music is the most beautiful and honest music I’ve ever heard. Mat’s a friend of mine so I just have to say: I’m not sucking his dick or stroking his pretty face just because he runs my label and is part of the effort in putting out my first album. I was a Coma Cinema fan long before we ever got in touch with each other, and his music has consistently been, for me, a cut above the rest. While some artists seem to struggle to put out more than one or two catchy or memorable songs, each and every scrap of recorded music Mat shares is its own unique and powerful (powerfully heartfelt, powerfully fuck-it, powerfully fragile) piece; there is no filler, no dead space. Not that Mat is frugal – between his two official albums alone he’s got 27 songs, and another 20-something recorded for a third album. I’m not quite sure what it is – his songs are simple and direct, there is nothing fancy, no pulled wool; usually just a guitar, a bass, a piano, a drum kit, and Mat’s own strong but fragile voice, somewhere in between Nick Drake, Neil Young, John Lennon, and Jeff Tweedy. But that instantly recognizable voice (often double-tracked) and those honest (fragile, beautiful, heartbreaking) lyrics set Coma Cinema in a league of its own in terms of pop music. The way I think about it, there is pop, and there is music (to draw a comparison, there is “pop” literature and there is academic, “respected” literature). Not that I endorse one over the other or think that artistic merit lies solely in one’s “respectability as an artist” (gag me with a fucking spoon), but Coma Cinema is a gorgeous literature of music. His songs are the kind that stick around and linger, whether painfully before your eyes or numbingly in the back of your mind. But where does the magic come from? Cothran is gone before you even realize he’s started vanishing. He lives by his own mantra: no one cares, it’s easier to quit.
Download a few Coma Cinema albums here
Download Ghost Animals album In Your Room here