If you listen to The CO’s second and most recent full-length album, Keep It Together, you may feel yourself being rapidly sucked into your car stereo by the pulsing beat that jump starts the opening track, “Frequency.” Don’t worry. This is a good thing, because The CO is nothing short of awesome! The dramatic thumping beat is quickly accompanied by the soft, yet powerful and distinctive vocals of front man Colin Brace and the song swiftly culminates to an anthemic chorus that is driven by drummer Nate Fleming’s rhythm section and Troy Akers’ melodic keys. Together they produce a sound that resonates with the soul and remains consistent throughout the entire album without any sense of wear or tire. With an expertly polished sound that lies somewhere in the vast musical galaxy between catchy pop and edgy indie, The CO create a sound that sticks with you.
“Frequency” is perfect sample of what Keep It Together is as a whole bodied piece of work. Throughout the compellation, Brace’s vocals are soulful and tender and helm a sound that consistently tows the line between emotive ballad and catchy, head nod inducing choruses, often blending the two seamlessly from one song to the next creating a fluidity and cohesiveness that is seldom found even in some of the most seasoned artist’s work.
The collaborative approach that the band takes to songwriting is a large contributing factor to The CO’s diverse sound and also yields each songs lyrical depth and emotional variance. Each song is product of an exposed vulnerability, from the hopeful and inspiring title track “Keep It Together,” to the deep and introspective “How To Say Goodbye.” It is quickly evident to anyone who may choose to listen, that this is what The CO is all about. It’s not just the fantastic production on the album, but the soul of each song that sets them apart.
I was fortunate enough to experience this first hand a couple of weeks ago at one of Cause A Scene’s most recent house shows. It was my first time seeing the band live, and it also happened to be my first time hearing the band at all, and that was what stuck with me. Sure, I was struck by Brace’s vocals and Akers’ soaring harmonies, as well as every other aspect that makes them a pleasure to listen to. However, there was something else that couldn’t be put into words, something that resonated on a personal level. At first, I thought it was due to the stripped down semi-unplugged set and the intimate atmosphere of a living room house show, but it wasn’t. That personal connection was just as apparent plugged-in on the album. That is what makes a band great. The ability to connect with listeners, no matter the medium. And that is exactly what The CO does.
- Christian Lerchenfeld