Welcome to COSIGN, where I’ll present a group of fresh and invigorating talent that does more than just add to the conversation of who’s next, they advance it! There’s something intangible they possess. It’s more than just hustle. This collective group simmer on the edge of fame and notoriety not only because of their skill and ambition, but because they did more than just wish on a star.
I didn’t know what to expect when interviewing Cold Specks. When an artist describes their music as “Doom Soul” you prepare yourself for whatever personality you think you might get. But Cold Specks was anything but doomy. The Canadian singer-songwriter was…dare I say it, sweet! It could’ve been the after-effects of her listening to the Backstreet Boys, (she confessed to her love for the boy band via Twitter) but Cold Specks was a polite, down-to-earth girl.
She phoned into our interview from a small cottage somewhere in the country overseas where she and her band began working on a follow-up to their album “I Predict A Graceful Expulsion.” We talked about when she dropped out of college and sold knives, this husky voice of hers that terrified her and why her band Cold Specks was almost named “A Basket of Figs” (She didn’t have a logical explanation for that name either)
The music is a hodgepodge of blues, gospel and rock. It’s nothing you’ve heard before. It’s…different, which according to Cold Specks, isn’t a bad thing.
When you were a little girl, did you want to pursue music?
It was something I fell into. I wanted to be a kindergarten teacher or a lawyer. I wanted to have a respectable job and I ended up doing this instead. I don’t mind. It’s fun.
A “respectable job” but then you ended up in music. That’s a big shift. What happened?
I think I just realized I could play guitar enough to write a decent song and I had a voice that seemed to have a little husk and it worked. It seemed to work out really well for me and it stuck.
Your voice is so distinct yet strong. Were you nervous how it would be received?
I thought that a female voice that was a little husky would be terrifying at times. It scared me for sure.
Your voice scared you!?
At first, when I was first learning how to sing.
How did you get over it?
I think what scared me about it was it was just so different. I just realized being different isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
You even said it so yourself, your voice isn’t like most female singers. Did you grow up in the church?
No I didn’t. I guess the connection to Gospel music was me listening to Sam Cooke and James Carr. James Carr is a soul singer from Memphis who probably grew up with a gospel background and Sam Cooke, so when I was learning to sing I was listening to those singers their style just creeped into mine.
What emotional space were you in when you wrote “I Predict A Graceful Expulsion?”
I was about 19 or 20 years old when I wrote the songs. I think I was just generally a depressed teenager and the songs are a reflection of that.
What had you so depressed?
I guess it’s just all the sh*t teenagers go through. I just happened to be writing songs about it. I don’t know…just growing up and coming to terms with sh*t.
What were some of the biggest challenges you encountered while recording the album?
Rhythm? What do you mean?
Playing guitar to drums was very difficult for me at first, only because I had never done it before and it was an entirely a new thing for me. It took a good couple months. I can play with a drummer now, so it’s all good.
Let’s talk about the name of the band. How did you come up with that name?
It’s from “Ulysses” A band member came across a line with the word Cold Specks in it and we thought it was kind of cool band name.
You said every member of your band becomes a part of their instrument. What does that mean?
On woodwinds, there’s a guy who can play tenor sax, bass, clarinet and baritone sax. His name is Chris Cundy and when he plays, it’s just…you have to sort of watch it to really understand. He’s one of the most wonderful woodwind players I’ve seen in my entire life. When he plays, he and the instrument are just one. And it’s the same with the guitarist Pete Roberts and it’s the same with the piano player Thomas Green. You just have to watch them. They’re all in a different league and I’m not just saying that because they’re in my band, they’re a gifted group of musicians. It’s just the love that they have for the music they have just comes across.
When people listen to listen to your music, what do you hope that they will take from it?
I just hope they enjoy it. I worked really hard on it. It took me a very long time to get to a point where I could sit down and listen to those songs as a body of work and be proud of it. It took me a long time to get to a point to understand that there was nothing else I can do to make it better. In my eyes it’s absolutely perfect and I just hope people enjoy it.
Interested in more Cold Specks. Check out her upcoming tour dates by clicking HERE.