Andy Cook returns with new single “If Walls Could Talk” | Debut LP out later this year
As a child, Andy Cook was afraid to sing. After years dodging performances in school music classes, he decided it was time to face his fears. Yet 2017 EP In Space and 2018 follow-up Modern Man still bore traces of that childhood anxiety: vocals surrounded by reverb and delay, melting into swelling banks of guitar. This time around, Cook is determined to recognize his voice for the instrument it really is; putting it front and center on new record I’ll Be Fine, out May 1 on Good Eye Records.
A former hockey player from the Midwest, Cook found new worlds opening up to him as he toured his first records across the country. It was a stop in New York, folded into a tiny Brooklyn bedroom, that helped to crystallize his voice into something he was finally ready to share. This city of dreams—and of harsh realities—was the catalyst Cook needed to push forward with his own dreams in the midst of seemingly unending uncertainty.
Recorded live to tape at Pachyderm Studio in Cannon Falls, Minnesota, I’ll Be Fine bristles with a closeness not heard in Cook’s earlier work. With co-production by Matthew Molnar (Sunflower Bean, Friends, Kissing is a Crime) and Jeremy Ylvisaker (Bon Iver, Alpha Consumer, Andrew Bird), Cook is able to anchor a tighter sound with firmer, bolder foundations.
This revamped sound bolsters appropriately direct lyricism, as befitting an artist finding long-awaited confidence in the stories he chooses to tell. Even the album title I’ll Be Fine faces down the consumerist narratives that bombard us, challenging these ideas of what we should buy, how we should look, who we should like, and how we should talk—instead encouraging us to find a way to be more and more okay with ourselves, however that is.
“Life doesn’t have to be about how many people like your Instagram photo, but it’s hard not to feel devalued when we always feel behind, not good enough,” Cook acknowledges.
It’s exactly this pragmatism that makes Cook an artist of note in 2019. His singular narratives have been refined with a close-knit team and released in the self-effacing knowledge that they have to compete for attention with the entire contents of Netflix… and yet Cook still chooses to put them out there.
Cook summarizes I’ll Be Fine this way: “These songs are for everyone who’s trying to take our voice from inside and bring it out. It’s scary, but we’ve got to say what we want if we’re going to be heard.”
I’ll Be Fine is out later this year and is Cook’s second release on Good Eye Records. He plays release shows in Minneapolis, New York, and Los Angeles, with additional tour dates forthcoming.