Louis Cole Pushes Boundaries In New Album 'Quality Over Opinion'

Louis Cole, the LA-based singer-songwriter and immensely talented multi-instrumentalist with a strong DIY aesthetic, releases his new album 'Quality Over Opinion', with The Guardian calling it “his most accomplished and well-rounded work to date.”

Louis is on a mission to create deep feelings through music and is the figurehead of an LA jazz-adjacent scene that includes Genevieve Artadi (with whom Louis co-founded the alt pop / electrofunk band KNOWER in 2009), Sam Gendel, Sam Wilkes, Jacob Mann, Dennis Hamm, Pedro Martins and more.

20 tracks deep, 'Quality Over Opinion' was written, performed and produced on his own in his modest home studio, but Louis did invite a handful of close friends to contribute, namely Genevieve Artadi (“my no.1 music collaborator”), saxophonist Sam Gendel – Louis's friend for 17 years, pianist Chris Fishman, Nate Wood from the band Kneebody, Marlon Mackey (“a pillar of the Bakersfield music scene”) and guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel. “This album is a representation of me trying to make the best, most powerful and listenable music I can. For myself and also others,” he says.

Louis’s main instrument is the drums and he has a background in jazz although the music he writes bears little resemblance to jazz in any pure or classical sense. His connection to the movement is more conceptual: “The root of jazz is pure freedom… no limits… just what you’re thinking right at that moment… a pure blast of limitlessness.” Accordingly, Louis's touchstones for 'Quality Over Opinion' include boundary-pushing composers such as Gustav Mahler and György Ligeti alongside jazz icons like Miles Davis, the Swedish extreme metal band Meshuggah, Morten Lauridsen (distinguished professor of music and American Choral Master) and Super Mario Kart. “There is no continuous thread of a story on this album, each song expresses its own moment in my life and time,” explains Louis. “I was inspired by joy, pain and the constant mission to pull something out of life around me.”

New single "I’m Tight" arrived hot on the heels of "Let it Happen" – “a timeless modern power ballad classic” released earlier this month. In contrast, "I’m Tight" is a sleek, laser-focused Funk rocket, based on an utterly irresistible bass line. “It comes from me recording about 100 different cells of funk, choosing my favorite ones and quilting them together into a song,” says Louis. “I had to practice the bass part a lot for this one,” he adds, smiling.

Louis Cole's insane musicianship is no secret – he’s been sharing performance videos on YouTube for a decade – growing a dedicated fanbase who appreciate both his craft and off-the-wall style. Drums, bass, keys… he has a monk-like attitude to practice and perfecting his art. Thundercat describes him as “one of Los Angeles's greatest musicians” and earlier this year invited him to play drums on his recent tour of Japan. The pair have frequently written together including on the aptly titled "I Love Louis Cole" from Thundercat’s Grammy-winning album 'It Is What It Is'. Flying Lotus has also expressed admiration for Louis, calling him “super inspirational” during the writing of his 2019 album 'Flamagra'.

No comments