Artist: Benji Cossa
Release date: April 22, 2008
Ladies and gentlemen! Now announcing the release of Benji Cossa's Vault Volume II: Jewels and Gems! Formed and cut in the years 2000-2003. Observe these beauties' many facets. Behold their rich colors. Value their clarity remastered in a new digital format.
Since 1995, Benji Cossa has amassed an extensive body of work but few outside of his inner circle of friends, loved ones and cult followers know much about it. Benji spent years and years recording his little masterpieces alone or with close pals on a 4-track. After years of D.I.Y. tapes and 7-inches and compilation appearances, his growing cult was rewarded with the Cossa's debut album in 2005. It was called Vault Vol. 1 and it culled 17 glorious nuggets recorded in the years 1995-2000. An excellent Portland label called Magic Marker brought it to the world. Vault Vol 2 is the sequel to that release, concentrating on the years 2000-2003, and further delving into Benji's treasure chest of magnificent jewels and gems. His songwriting transcends the "lo-fi" sub-genre by pulling more inspiration from the Brill Building, All Things Must Pass and ELO than scratchy, punky indie-rock. In Benji's world of songs, the hook is the king.
Some of the songs are recording collaborations with Devin Flynn (Pixeltan) including "April," which was featured on excellent the Hishaam Baroocha-curated They Keep Me Smiling compilation in 2003. The tracklist unfolds in chronological order.
Benji Cossa - April by seriousbusiness
"...very pure...Beautiful lo-fi popsongs which sometimes remind me of George Harrison, and I suppose this has something to do with Benji's voice." Heet Stof
""Benji Cossa's Vault: Volume II, Jewels & Gems," offers further excursions into the gentle, pop excursions with some variation. "April" is a downright electric rocker with a bubble-gum roundness, and "For A Good Thing" has a '60s garage feel, with the album rounded out by a number of songs that sound like solo John Lennon on a better than ordinary day. Even better,
though, Cossa evokes the sincerity of Jonathan Richman, bypassing Lennon's jaded negativity and topping off the overwhelming feeling of joy with "Landscape," the best skiffle song I've heard in ages."
- John E. Mitchell, The North Adams Trascript
On 'April':"It's a pretty simple little pop song, but it has a real 1950's feel to it, just the conjunction of subject matter ("We met one night in the fall of the lights of a radio station band") and instrumentation (piano, deadened drums, and distorted guitar squeaks) make me think of something that should be playing on the oldies station. And I mean that in the best way possible, because this song is a pure classic , as is 'You're A Landscape' (volcano of guitar strums, lo-fi synth squiggles, and major whistling). Both songs have an undeniable autumn feel to them, and it's nice to drive around listening to these at full-blast with the windows down." - Molars
"Cossa’s Landscape is an extraordinary lo-fi, 1950’s folk-pop fusion tune which fully belongs on the AM dial or as ironic support in a Tarantino movie. Full of jaunty guitar jangles and jocular synth punches, with a true-to form whistling refrain striding alongside, there’s an inherent sense of breezy innocence that comes together, further driven by Cossa’s sweet, heartfelt voice. It’s a melodious, foot-tapping moment which will compel you to hum a few bars to get you out of the humdrum of your day." A Limerick Ox