Itasca – “Bess’s Dance”

Last year, Los Angeles singer-songwriter Kayla Cohen released a tape called Morning Flower under her Itasca moniker. Open To Chance, her last proper album for the folk project, came out in 2016. Today, she announces a new LP and shares its lead single.

Spring gets its title from the sparse water sources in rural New Mexico, where Cohen spent a few months writing the album, inspired by the isolation of the desert landscape. It draws influence from ’70s orchestrated concept albums, built around her travels through New Mexico and research on the land’s history and culture. “Bess’s Dance” introduces the album’s concept with the image of the Basketmaker culture’s woven artifacts. “Change was rushed by the refrain / Kept on dreaming of a basket overflowing with grain” she sings. “A worn red cloth woven over the cobs / Single figure of the wild plain.”

The song ends with a proclamation of sorts, the framework for the rest of the album: “We create great stages where we act out the borders of desire.” Listen below.

01 “Lily”
02 “Only a Traveler”
03 “Bess’s Dance”
04 “Comfort’s Faces”
05 “Voice of the Beloved”
06 “Blue Spring”
07 “Cornsilk”
08 “Plains”
09 “Golden Fields”
10 “A’s Lament”

Spring is out 11/1 on Paradise of Bachelors. Pre-order it here.

CREDIT: Joanne Kim
Tags: Itasca