Ever wanted to hear jazz-infused pop music that is equally funky and crazy at the same time, Louis Cole is an artist you should check out today. Louis Cole is a singer, drummer, multi-instrumentalist, and composer based out of Los Angeles, California. Louis Cole’s claim to fame was from being a member of the YouTube act Knower. During the early days of Knower, he and singer Genevieve Artadi produced many covers of pop songs coming out at that time, incorporating their knowledge of EDM, jazz, funk, and other genres to make them unique. Knower also releases original music that is popular on their channel, bandcamp, and Spotify. Some of their best known songs include “Overtime,” “Hanging On,” and “Time Traveler.” Both of their covers and original music are all accompanied by fun, energetic, and futuristic music videos. Some notable musicians who have collaborated with Knower include: Instagram bassist Mononeon, critically acclaimed jazz saxophonist Sam Gendel, Thundercat’s keyboardist Dennis Hamm, New York jazz legend David Binney, and David Bowie’s bassist Tim Lefebvre. Throughout the past 14 years of the band’s existence, Louis Cole has remained as the band’s genius composer, while still being their drummer.
Louis Cole has also released solo music under his own name, and has been coming out with material since 2010. In 2018, Louis Cole signed to the independent record label Brainfeeder, with artists including Flying Lotus, Thundercat, Kamasi Washington, and Hiatus Kaiyote. Now, what makes Louis Cole so special you may ask? In this blog, we will guide you through some of the reasons why you should listen to him today.
- Humorous Energy and Stage Presence:
If you watch any live performances of Louis Cole, his stage presence is something to pay attention to. Attending one of his shows or watching his live videos can give you a sense of his charisma and stage presence. Thundercat described Louis Cole as if he were “Michael Jackson and Jack Skellington combined into one person,” which is a great description of his stage personality. On stage, you will see Cole accompanied by other dancers and a full brass section to support his sonic space. Louis Cole is also known for his energetic and engaging live performances. Typically, his energetic performances often involve participation of his audience and an immersive vibe that adds another layer to his crazy music.
Louis Cole is well-known for his rhythmic ingenuity within his drumming. He pushes the boundaries of what traditional drumming is and explores unconventional time signatures with complicated polyrhythms. His ability to effortlessly transition between different rhythms adds a dynamic and unpredictable element to his drumming style. Another standout aspect of Louis Cole's drumming is his excellent sense of groove. He has a remarkable ability to lock in with the bass and other instruments, creating a tight and infectious pocket that drives his music forward. His precise control of dynamics and timing plays a huge part to his feel and groove of his drumming. In addition, Louis Cole combines elements from various musical genres and incorporates them into his drumming style. He blends elements of jazz, funk, hip-hop, and EDM, combining his drumming with a wide range of influences. This hybrid of various genres allows him to create a unique sound and contributes to his distinct drumming style. His live performances however, is where Louis Cole's drumming truly shines. He showcases immense energy, enthusiasm, and showmanship behind his minimal drum setup. His stage presence and interaction with the band and audience create an electrifying atmosphere that enhances the impact of his drumming.
- Musically Nerdy But Catchy Compositions:
Louis Cole's compositional writing showcases his versatility and creativity as a songwriter and producer. Louis Cole is known for blending various musical genres, incorporating elements of jazz, funk, R&B, electronic, pop, and more. Effortlessly, Louis Cole navigates between different styles, creating a unique sound that defies traditional genre boundaries. Within his compositions, Louis Cole shows his strong understanding of harmony and chord progressions throughout his music. He utilizes unexpected chord changes, complex harmonies, and unconventional chord voicings, giving his songs a distinct harmonic sound. While Louis Cole's music is adventurous and boundary-pushing, many of his songs often feature catchy hooks and melodies that can captivate listeners from different musical backgrounds. He has a way for creating infectious and ear-catching musical phrases that stay with the listener. His melodies often have a playful and lighthearted quality, making his music accessible and enjoyable to listen to.
- Incredible Songwriting Chops:
Louis Cole's songwriting often delves into many thought-provoking themes. His lyrics can be introspective, playful, and contemplative, tackling subjects such as personal experiences, relationships, and societal issues. Like any great artist, listening to his music can provide a deeper understanding of his perspective that resonates with listeners. As mentioned before, Louis Cole is adept at creating diverse and captivating melodies. Whether it's a soulful ballad or an upbeat funk track, Louis Cole shows a knack for crafting melodies that are both accessible and intriguing. He is not bound by traditional verse-chorus-verse formats and is willing to mess with different sections, transitions, and musical arrangements. This unconventional approach keeps many of his listeners engaged and adds an element of surprise to his songs.
- Impressive Collaborations:
Louis Cole has collaborated with a wide array of artists, ranging from fellow musicians to popular YouTubers. These collaborations showcase his versatility and adaptability as a musician. The artists he has collaborated with are also well worth checking out as well, since they have also made an impact on music with the growing age of the internet. Aside from being in Knower, Louis Cole also collaborates with his fellow band-mate Genevieve Artadi on many of her solo releases. In addition, Louis Cole has collaborated with bassist and composer Thundercat on multiple occasions including playing on his albums “Drunk” and “It Is What It Is.” Thundercat's bass skills complement Louis Cole's drumming and songwriting, resulting in a unique blend of their musical styles. Louis Cole has also collaborated with the Grammy-winning multi-instrumentalist and producer Jacob Collier. Their collaboration can be heard on Collier's album "Djesse Vol. 3," in which the combination of their musical talents creates a dynamic and captivating sound. In addition, Louis Cole has performed with the critically acclaimed jazz-fusion collective Snarky Puppy. His energetic drumming style and musicality add a unique flavor to the band’s live performances. Also, the collaboration between these two artists highlights the mutual respect they have for each other's musical skills.
In conclusion, whether you should listen to Louis Cole depends on your personal taste and musical preferences. However, his stage presence, drumming, thoughtful compositions, song-writing chops, collaborations, and dynamic live performances make him worth exploring for anyone interested in innovative and unique music.
Sources: [The Guardian] (https://www.theguardian.com/music/2022/oct/03/louis-cole-knower-brainfeeder-interview) [Wikipedia] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Cole)