Known for his presence in the Southern Americana scene — in Justin Vernon’s pre-Bon Iver band DeYarmond Edison, as a member of North Carolina’s freak-folk band Megafaun, as a sideman in Hiss Golden Messenger, etc. — Phil Cook has also carved out a nice little solo career for himself in recent years. We were fans of his debut LP Southland Mission, and he has a new one called PEOPLE ARE MY DRUG on the way.
On a yearning new single from that release, Cook partners with another leading light from his scene, Sylvan Esso and Mountain Man’s Amelia Meath, for an honest track about emotional distance despite physical proximity. “Miles Away” is a bluesy tune filled with a soft, cathartic charm reminiscent of the Wood Brothers. Cook’s voice is soothing and soulful over the bass’ swinging groove; as he backs up Meath’s ethereal voice, he falls into a peaceful whisper. The song’s chilled-out sound and twinkling guitar are fully capable of swaying you to sleep.
The power on “Miles Away” derives from warmth in sadness. Even with searching lyrics like “I’m out here waiting/ Where could you be?” there’s still a binding feeling of hope. The two drifters will reunite one day. Listen below.
06/07 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
06/08 – Washington DC @ Songbyrd
06/10 – Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade
07/31 – Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom*
08/01 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent*
08/03-05 – Happy Valley, OR @ Pickathon
08/07-08 – Seattle, WA @ Tractor Tavern*
* with Daniel Norgren
PEOPLE ARE MY DRUG is out 6/1 on Psychic Hotline/Thirty Tigers. Pre-order it here.