On the surface, the instrumentally surreal remix of Eddie Cohn’s “Animals” is almost entirely singer-centric. The vocal is by far the most prominent element of evocation at the top of the mix, and it caresses a fleeting melodicism from the backdrop that seems almost too ethereal to be anything other than synthetic in origin. Whether we’re watching the video or listening to the song on its own, Cohn’s voice feels like the greatest component of charisma in the “Animals” remix, providing us with a touch of personality amidst a black and white setting made to both frighten and fascinate this late summer season.
The breaks between the verses here are perhaps the most cerebral moments in the track, and they emphasize the dreaminess of the production style Cohn utilizes in particular. Independent from the material, the way this song was mixed speaks to the neo-psychedelic and post-punk influences this artist has been celebrating since day one, through one facet of his output or another. He isn’t just giving us some druggy, clandestine display of poetic strength in this remix, but instead offering up a deeply insightful and emotionally charged depiction of his artistic capabilities as they stand without the assistance of a big backing band.
Cohn’s singing is never concealed by noise in “Animals (Remix),” but instead made to be front and center in the arrangement, taking us down a dark path of harmony and anti-rhythm that wasn’t made for the faint of heart. There’s a scathing emotional weight he’s grappling with in this performance, and the pain he’s feeling fills the empty spaces between the words like a rumbling rapid pulverizing a valley river. He isn’t letting the instrumentation come undone because he’s got too much to throw down at the microphone, and this contrast helps to define the authenticity of his every statement.
Thought-provoking and multi-interpretive depending on how you break down the music video, “Animals (Remix)” is Eddie Cohn again being one of the most capable and sophisticated players in his scene today. High definition mixing aside, the detail to this material is amazing and enrapturing, leaving both audiophiles and casual pop fans with something to talk to their like-minded friends about this September. I’ve been taken with Cohn’s sound for a while now, and if there were any reservations about his staying power post-2021 ahead of this single’s release, I think they’re going to be universally extinguished as it finds a home on the airwaves.
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