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There is this often romanticised view of American folk portrayed timelessly in songs like America by Simon & Garfunkel, of a musician touring the desolate roads of this country, driving down a highway cloaked in perpetual sunset. For Itasca (aka. Kayla Cohen), this is perfectly expressed through her music. This New York born solo artist bases herself on the opposing coast, letting the city of LA to influence and shape her music.


Guitar-based baroque artist Itasca and her latest track After Dawn, emanates the feeling of dawn breaking, the sun shining and a beautiful day arriving.

Kayla has been around for the past 5 years but only started recording as Itasca after she moved to LA in 2012. After Dawn is the second single from her sophomore album and her tracks continue to hold the same level of complex simplicity.

After Dawn has an amazing sense of space. The environment that Kayla is able to create with merely her voice and guitar seems almost empty, as if she had interrupted a silence that came before it. This bedroom style recording, in addition to being put out on tapes, carries with it a sense of intimacy, of familiarity.

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The true emotional impact of the song is carried by its emptiness and vastness. There is an echo and reverb quality in her voice, which creates a song that sounds so full and rich. The song itself is bookended by vocal verses, with a gaining and falling guitar instrumental, and a flute- like instrument  carrying the melody. This is where a true feeling of After Dawn becomes explicit – the vocals murmur into your mind, slowly dragging you out of your sleep, like a welcomed alarm clock.

If you liked Tiny Ruins who we reviewed earlier on in the year, then you’ll be just as entranced by Itasca.



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November 4, 2014

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