Charleston, S.C. up-and-comer Cole Collins has taken a journey across the music spectrum. The multi-instrumentalist went from playing in a metal band to working on a pop-rock project to starting his own indie folk/ambience solo venture. He began on drums, playing in a middle school praise band, before picking up a guitar and dabbling in the keys. That’s when the songwriting began.
“The transition from metal to my current style [involved] a desire to write on a deeper level,” says Collins. “Sometimes, I like to think that I’ve found who I am musically in whatever my current style is. But, in reality, for me, styles are like fruits. When I squeeze all the juice out of an orange, then there’s nothing left to do with it except to eat the flavorless rinds. So, I move onto another fruit and squeeze it dry.”
His current orange is still ripe, however: a self-titled project that pairs a wave of layered texture that encapsulates with relatable yet introspective lyrics that explore subterranean emotions. In other words, it makes you feel all the feels. Collins is releasing his second album Living History next month, scheduled tentatively for Feb. 27. Tomorrow, however, he will be dropping his first single “The Product” through College of Charleston label 1770 Records.
“Living History is a 50/50 balance between personal expression of emotion and more in-depth ideas that have nothing to do with my life,” says Collins. “Some of the concepts I sing about are closely knitted together with my own personal situations of the past. Then, some are simply fictional concepts.” The album garners inspiration from musical influences Sigur Ros, Sufjan Stevens, Andrew Bird and Arcade Fire.
Since Collins plays so many instruments- drums, guitar, bass, piano, glockenspiel, violin and ukulele- his songs involve extensive looping, which is particularly interesting to watch in a live performance. “It sort of helps me bypass the whole struggle of trying to keep a solid band together,” says Collins. “It’s less of a headache in every way…except having to play all the parts myself. But, it’s a fun challenge.”
Collins was recently involved in a bike accident that knocked out half of his front two teeth and broke his hand. The incident has made him unable to finish the last song on the album, of which all he had left to record was violin. Collins is waiting to hear if he will need surgery on his hand, but if all goes as planned, the album will drop just a month later than the January date initially intended.