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Basket Star

by ADIR L.C.

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about

OUT May 17th

On Basket Star, the well-traveled New York songwriter and studio savant Adir L.C. epitomizes a new breed of troubadour: one who not only writes songs as he passes through but arranges and records them on the move as well. He assembled the record like a postmodern folk Bard, collecting and orchestrating tracks, sounds, and creative contributions to share on his way. A savvy folk-pop craftsman with a track record, Adir coaxed Basket Star to life as he moved from one ad-hoc studio to another: Brooklyn apartments and practice spaces, an aunt’s house in Vermont, a studio outside Binghamton, New York, and more.

Adir’s baseline sound is a heady blend of millennial indie: a freak folk earthiness meets the big-din symphonics of “collective pop,” with accents of tin pan alley, jangle, soul, and street corner brass band. The living-as-producing recording process lends Basket Star an accretive complexity but one steered by the steady hand of a veteran auteur, courting the chaos for its surprises and its fertility (with a big assist from mix engineer Aaron Adams).

The indie jazz ballad “Best Version (of My Short Life)” kicks off the record on a lush and sophisticated note. The standout second song, “Big Bad” as well as the strong single candidate “Pink Cloud” find Adir back in his deepest pocket—jangling, achingly melodic indie folk-rock. The gently rocking acoustic title track demonstrates one of his most striking gifts as guitarist and singer—an easy swagger that makes all this flowing musical richness seem unconscious, almost accidental.

Like so many of the poets of the new century, Adir writes with gravity and serious moral purpose, but Basket Star never approaches preachy didacticism. Adir is too much of an offhand impressionist and street surrealist in the Stephen Malkmus tradition for that to happen. His inventory of self and society is carried along on a lax, permissive river of language, image, and snaky melody, and his quest is on perpetually shaky ground.

A sense of crowd enlivens Basket Star, expressed in layered harmonies, Salvation Army brass and occasional family-style percussion. Adir has long had a nose for community. He came of age rocking in the same New Jersey basement shows as his older friends in Titus Andronicus and Real Estate. His college years in New Paltz, New York, were spent spearheading a now thriving DIY scene, and living at Salvation Recording, the studio that later helped hone several debut albums from recent nationally acclaimed acts.
When Adir relocated to Tel Aviv for two years, he quickly connected with the progressive music scene there and produced the well received Oceanside Cities, a fastidious record as high-gloss and precise as Basket Star is organic and comfortably imperfect. Oceanside Cities still gets enthusiastic airplay in Israel, and close friend and multi-instrumentalist Eden Barel flew in to make significant contributions to Basket Star, playing on and co-producing a number of songs on the record.

Upon returning to the United States, Adir moved in with lifelong collaborator Cameron Wisch (Porches, Cende, and Sheer Mag) and members of LVL Up at the infamous Brooklyn house venue ‘David Blaine’s the Steakhouse’. There began the process of what would eventually become Basket Star, to be released by Birdwatcher Records on May 17, 2019.

credits

released May 17, 2019

Adir Cohen – Lyrics/music/production, Vocals, Keys, Synth, Guitars, Drums/Percussion, Banjo, Mandolin, Bass
Eden Barel – Percussion, Drums, Guitars, Mandolin, Keys, Vox, Co-Production on select tracks
Cameron Wisch – Drums, Bass, Vox
Chris Daley – Guitars, Synth, Piano, Vox
Hunter Davidsohn – Mellotron Organ, Drums
Tal Mashiach – Contrabass
Aaron Adams – Keys
Ina Elkind – Bass
Yonatan Peled – Trombone
Vince Tampio – Trumpet
Group Vocals: Sandy Davis, Lau Noa, Alejandro Rodriguez, Britt Yudell, David, Hana and Matan Cohen, Moka Dog
Mixed by Aaron ‘Ronnie Stone’ Adams
Mastered at Holy Fang Studios by Oliver Ignatius

Big Thanks to my family, my partner Britt, all the steak-holders at DBTS, Birdwatcher Records, Eden, Cameron, Chris and the rest of my amazing band, and everyone else that helps make this project happen and that makes my life such a good one.

*** “A Little Love Couldn’t Hurt” is an interpretation of Alon Eder’s “Ktsat Ahava Lo Tazik”, translated to English and transposed by Adir L.C. ***

All art by Gregory Moncada (AKA Bad Pedestrian)

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Track Name: Best Version (of my short life)
Every time you laugh, I can’t help but crack… even after all these years
sweeping dirty leaves, spring cleaning - its the holiest time of the year
Into the calm wave headspace, that unparalleled strength in your spine
Out of the deep dream, wake me to the best version of my short life
Your smell, and your skin, and your touch - bring me more comfort than any other drug
It’s the static, the way we go at it - the hunt’s over and I’m satisfied.
Into the hot sheet body that was forged in the fire of my mind
Out of the slow cope, work load, keep me revived and alive
Out of the side stepped, stiff necked, that invincible look in your eye
Convinced I’m yours now, sun shower, so clean and refreshed I could die.
Into the calm wave headspace, that unparalleled strength in your spine
Out of the deep dream, wake me to the best version of my short life
Track Name: Big Bad
Still on the ground, friends in the trees
Wrapped in a blanket - wet, comforting
It can't be said twice more than was said before
Dream of a payout, dream of the final score
It's the big bad wolf in the summer
In the height of parties and distractions
It’s the big bad wolf, keeps you drunk in the street , not taking care of your shit
It's the big bad wolf in the autumn
That first shiver, stoned colors drop and fade
I'm the big bad wolf when I want to be, always subconsciously, never a good thing

Babe in the woods, lost and full of apology
Clinging to apathy, hoping for more…
Trying so hard in something so impossible
Looking for light in every corner and hole
What holds it back, keeps it unseen?
Keeps it a "kind of", keeps it a dream
Work for happiness in your daily routine
Fine line to balance attention with inner peace
It's the big bad wolf in the winter
Keeps the draft so cold in your black hole cave
It’s the big bad wolf in the snow that keeps you all alone, downhill, broken old sled
It's the big bad wolf in the springtime
That deceptive rebirth, another break
Give yourself more time when it gets nice - excuses come easy and then comes the rain
I'm the big bad wolf in the corner
Creeps into my bed, keeps me wide awake
Yeah I'm the big bad wolf when I want to be
Always subconsciously, never a good thing
Track Name: Reacting
Cold head, hot sheets - big windows all I need
Deep breath, morning - the possibilities
One day some sense might bless our heads, entropic and divine
Locked in, big win - thrilled and thrown aside
So bad at reacting - bleeding out the cause
We’ve been talking way too much, we’ve been acting way too tough
It’s slow, big snow - trickles in a row
Good news, half truths - just paint me blue and oak
I’ll put my mouth where my hand out is - slamming on the door
Slow kiss, hard miss, attracted to the glow
So stop. Heard you said you never were one to fight or get mixed up
But it’s been dragging on and on. Yes, we’re so bad …
At reacting - bleeding out the cause
We’ve been talking way too much
We’ve been acting way to tough
We’ve been slighted, we’ve been stung
We’ve been warned and we’ve been wronged
Track Name: New York
Oh big city, tired and lonely - take a breath, take your time
Walk your streets, take my money - every taste is intertwined
So don't hold me, don't hold me - just show me, show me

Now I'm ready, as much as I’ll ever be - drained the muse, hope it ain't dry
You embody a bad lover, the hottest sex, the cruelest lies
So, I get it. I hate you. I love you, city of mine

Say what you mean, and then mean what your saying
Saying its only way to make it real and stick
Say what you want to create, your reality
Say it and New York will fight you but give it up
Track Name: Basket Star
Catching time on the side, just to get by
Jumping cliffs, touching lips, just get high
getting more from the core if we Keep trying
easy way can be grey , skip the cheap ride

its been weeks since we were winning anything but happiness
woke up to successful virtues on the corner of this bed
singing songs about the future, doomsday thoughts from dirty heads
sweeping pasty leaves and pedals, its spring cleaning once again

Learning slow on the low there’s no right side
spent a year, getting clear out in Bedstuy
Being bold, orange gold, found a sunrise
Sell it free, symmetry, let it collide

on the road now since October, seen the country, worked the land
Roamed the desert with my day dreams, saw my soul as it was planned.. it said, “Find a lover that respects you, takes you in like you’re a star
Make your friends remember you for all the good things that you are”

We’re in deep, losing sleep, just to get by
Jumping cliffs, touching lips, just get high
Track Name: Foggy Hill
In the darkness of foggy hills a half wolf howls at the moon he can’t see
In this body at the same time, my pen is my hand is my head is the heart that I try
Wabi sabi, tricked and loose, patched up fence and chicken coop
On this mountain I’ll try my best
My pen is my hand is my head is the hear that I test
Track Name: Getting Home
I’m just getting home now with a new sun to meet me
I’ve been out all night serving poison to people
and hope for a tip on advice that I'm giving
It's killing my drive, you once knew me as driven
You're about to wake up, I can tell by the twitch
Of your fingers, they're dancing right off of the pillow
But I'm drained like the drought that killed off the rebellion
Weak at the knees means I'm weak in the head

I see I'm, I'm not the only one here…

The pigeons eat chicken wings out past our doorstep
A curse, it’s an omen on Myrtle and Broadway
This plentiful bounty of trash on the corner
From bum litter bugs, bugging out here forever
Now I’m dozing off quickly, forget all confusion
Slip into steep dreams that point out the illusion
That we have to be this way or that way to make it
And make this much bread to compete against the grain
Of everyone else, we're not everyone darlin’
Hold on to the holiest task of creating
And keep making art to hold off the surrender
This endless black hole of dark questions forever
Track Name: Go Hard
Complain until it's too late, oh the places we go
Our feet they walk in circles, these circles draw the zero
And maybe that’s the reason, the numbness is so pleasing
Forget about the ambush, forget about its reasons
We've been trying' hard just to go hard baby, seems like it’s been that-way for-so-long
If you try too, we'll support you baby - You can take us to the place we all belong
The whole race is a charade, a plan to make us let go
of what we thought was honest, awake but still cannot move
A tireless old circus, parading as new wisdom
Repeating all the missteps, burning down the kingdom
We've been trying' hard just to go hard baby, seems like it’s been that way for so long
If you try too, we'll support you baby - you can take us to that place we all belong
We've been trying hard just to go hard baby, kept it so quiet hardly didn't hurt at all
Patiently wait, prophecy breaks softly - crossing fingers is all we are getting done.
Track Name: Same Way
Tried to be different running exactly the same way, and that’s ok
But that’s not something that could ever work these days
Laying low and telling lies to the apple of your eye … flying low, the branch is high
Down in the subway, with every kind of face, they're all the same
Waiting for something, to stop the rat race every day
But that’s ok, we sleep at night to leave the system running right … That’s ok, we sleep at night
Not apathetic, just overwhelmed by the pain, but that’s ok
No were not running, just running out of space
It’s so inevitable, it’s so harsh against the sword. What's the blessing? What's the cure?
I'v got my papers, got my life. Do you need more proof of rights? I'v got my number.
Track Name: Pink Cloud
It’s the pink cloud singing in the background of your barbeque in summer
Drink a cold one with your estranged son, it’s the chance to make it better
Take a long walk, around the old block .. walk in circles now, forever
Live a life seen, live by the right means .. meaning seems to fade much quicker
So right out from this horse's mouth, take me out
Put a bullet in my head, if i’m not myself, talking nonsense
Drop my body in the woods, for the vultures, bears and wolves
There’s no glory in getting old, if you go out half a corpse
Make some money, leave behind honey
Your colony will always love you
When all you saved up, a stranger's pay stub
Nursing home is death's sneak preview
And while you'll need help to shit and sit straight
Could use your last strength with a smile
Will you find peace? whatever that means
Lose your mind forget what you knew ….
All along, we knew one day we’d be gone forever
Pity me and let me sink, fast and quick, still with it
Hitting the road either way, just make my travels be worth my stay
Sing with me until I die, just let the song be something nice
The useless pity of a fool, we all end up there, quick or cruel
Track Name: Another Potion
Keep those high knees to get those high speeds
this super motion, its an emotion
"in your wildest dreams, you couldn't have me"
thats what she promised before she vanished
but you're a good one, the respectful son
and you deserve this, a love of madness
so pray this light song, to keep the wrong gone
give it feeling, sing it it like you mean it

oh sweet heavy ghost, won't you release me?
and put me on the road towards something good I can believe in
all while the world comes crashing down so patiently
so patiently

that salty sweetness, chaotic neatness
its an explosion, epic erosion
this narrow highway, it splits in two ways
choose direction, find some direction

too little too late, still always turns out great
break the mountain, find the fountain
another rad scene, another wet dream
lacking emotion, its all emotion
in this action, hoping for attraction
all this hiding, it's traumatizing

OOh sweet heavy ghost, won't you release me?
and put me on the road towards something good I can believe in
all while the world comes crashing down so patiently
so patiently

another potion, this witch's notion
that its all planned out, her version's far out
its one more misstep, hundredth last cigarette
supposed to quit now, but its a bad time
Track Name: A Little Love (couldn't hurt)
(original song by Alon Eder, translated to English by Adir L.C.)

A little love couldn’t hurt
I think that i'll get out of here
I think I want to get far from here
Only a love that can hurt
A love that can distance us both
It’s only me, no its not yours
It’s hard but, I'm now forced...
To blur the boundaries a bit
A bit of a toke and drink
Can’t find much sense in anything
Don’t want to wake up from this
Alone’s no good ... Together is bad
So no matter how you see it, there’s no choice to have

So wait until the very end
Wait until the time passes
You understand lots about me
I’m translucent, to hard to see
So give me the time that I need
Take all the time that you want
It’s only me - no it’s not yours
it’s hard, but I'm now forced
So just leave … no just stay
In life these days you can’t choose anyway

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