Coco Hames

Coco Hames

Artist: Coco Hames

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Format: CD
Genre: Rock/Pop
Rel. Date: 03/31/2017
UPC: 673855046426

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Though it’s the first album released under her name, Coco Hames is no wide-eyed ingénue. As the singer, songwriter, frontwoman, and indomitable force behind beloved garage-pop combo The Ettes, she blazed a memorable trail across the ’00s underground. The proverbial “little band that could,” the group would record five critically acclaimed albums, establish a fervent international fan base, and tour extensively with everyone from Kings of Leon to the Go-Go’s, the Black Keys to the Dead Weather. Leading a gypsy existence, the Ettes variously called Los Angeles, London, Berlin and Madrid home, before finally settling in Nashville in 2008. A Florida native and once-aspiring Disney kid, Hames had found salvation and what should’ve been a satisfying success in rock ’n’ roll: packed concerts, TV appearances, and soundtrack placements. But after nearly a decade together, the idealized notion of the band was crumbling around her. Following a final bittersweet album and tour in 2011, Hames decided to bring the curtain down on the Ettes’ run. But Hames was pulled towards music again. “The thing I loved, that I was always drawn to, was songs—the magic of creating something out of a fleeting idea and a few chords,” says Hames. “That passion never left me. I began to realize I had more that I wanted to write, and a lot more that I needed to say.” Hunkering down at Nashville’s The Bomb Shelter studio, Hames co-produced the record with Andrija Tokic, who’d helped sire career-making albums for Alabama Shakes and Hurray for the Riff Raff, among others. Playing guitar, piano, and electric harpsichord, Hames was aided in her effort by a pair of longtime pals in bassist Jack Lawrence (The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather) and drummer Julian Dorio (The Whigs, Eagles of Death Metal). Lead guitar was supplied by young Nashville hotshot Adam Meisterhans (The Weight, JP5) while other friends and musical foils contributed, including veteran keyboard/organ wizard Dave Amels of Reigning Sound. Hames also enlisted top Music City vocalists Carey Kotsionis (Bobby Bare, Jr., Clem Snide) and Third Man artist Lillie Mae Rische (Jack White, Jypsi) to form an angelic mini-choir for the sessions. Hames says she had no agenda with the project, apart from fashioning an album that would resist easy genre tags. “I grew up listening to ’60s pop like Dusty Springfield, but also classic country music, like Patsy Cline, and things that bridged both worlds, like Bobbie Gentry. I guess I’m a fan of artists who can move between styles pretty seamlessly,” notes Hames. “Somehow, with this record, the end result doesn’t fit into any one category. Which is an exciting thing to me.” The album’s nine originals are rounded out by a cover of “Tiny Pieces,” a lost ’90s gem penned by Tommy Stinson of alt-rock legends the Replacements. “It’s a really unique song,” says Hames, who delivers it as a duet with John McCauley of Deer Tick, the pair making like a dissolute Gram and Emmylou. “I just love John’s voice—particularly in the way we play off each other.” “I couldn’t have made this album when I was 22,” says Hames, a decade on. “I had to get to the place where I could write and sing the way I do now. I had to earn my way to making this record. I’m glad I didn’t give up before I got here.”