Coco Columbia’s debut effort, 2014’s The Weight, was a seductive amalgamation of future jazz, pop, soul and hip-hop. Two years and another successfully funded Kickstarter later, Columbia is prepping to show off her latest sultry take on jazz-infused sounds with an edge. The first offering from her impending sophomore release, When the Birds Begin to Walk, comes in the form of “Weight on Limb.” The track is a ride that flows improvisationally, replete with harsh guitar riffs and catchy scatting.
“'Weight on Limb’ is one of the last songs I wrote for my new album,” Columbia says. “I had been listening to a lot of jazz/soul-ish pop music with rhythmically interesting hits and hooks. I wanted to write a song with similar elements. I decided to keep the melody and harmony simple and catchy to offset the offset hits and metric (time) modulations.”
Aided by her “beloved band members” (Grant Sayler on guitar, Alex Meltzer on bass, Micah Hummel on drums and Columbia on Rhodes), the guys “really helped make the arrangement great,” she credits. “They added more rhythmic ideas that ended up working really well with what I had written.”
Recorded at Jackpot! Recording Studio “with one of my favorite humans, and definitely my favorite engineer, Sacha Muller,” Muller and Columbia also produced and mixed the song together while it was mastered by Dana White at Specialized Mastering, she says.
Offbeat in all the right ways, the cut now has an appropriately adventurous and cinematic video directed by Cypress Jones in collaboration with Columbia.
When the Birds Begin to Walk is due out this summer, and Columbia says, “The title is a line from my favorite poem, ‘Signs’ by Lucille Clifton. I revisited this poem after a long absence when I was halfway through writing new material. It never ceases to punch me in the gut. This time it felt eerily similar to the emotional states that inspired the new songs. Clifton has this really nuts way of blending the beautiful and surreal with painfully abrasive and raw emotion. I'm aiming to express a similar dichotomy on this new record.”
In the meantime, Columbia plans to release several new singles over the coming months, all leading up to her record release party at the Doug Fir Lounge on Wednesday, August 17 with Sama Dams and Moorea Masa.