When I meet members of a band for an interview in Columbus, it usually happens in one of four places; a coffee house, a recording studio, a venue, or a pub.
Liz Fisher and Corey Dickerson from The Cordial Sins suggested we meet at O’Reilly’s Pub on North Hight St. As many people know, it warms my heart to have a conversation over a few pints in an Irish pub. Instantly, they became “good people” in my book.
In between bites from a few baskets of various delicious foodstuffs, Guinness Stout and local craft beers, our conversation wandered over the history of the band and into future endeavors.
Intrigued by the juxtaposition of “Cordial” and “Sins” together as their name, I had to ask how they settled on it.
Corey chuckled and said, “We were sort of just looking at band names, idioms and weird things. ‘Cardinal Sins’ was misread as ‘Cordial Sins’, and that’s how we came up with it.”
It’s been 14 months since they released their inaugural effort, “Daze“. Released in November 2015, the eleven tracks have a light and airy quality to them, with the music perfectly underscoring Liz’s lyrical melodies. The track “Goodbye” appears to be the precursor of the sound they were looking for.
“I think ‘Daze’ was an experimental point for us,” said Corey. “I think we had a very broad idea of where we wanted to go with it. I would describe our sound as Alternative Indie Rock with a bit of Dream Pop woven through it. Our sound is inspired by Beach House, The Shins and Deerhunter.”
The guitar sound intricately weaves its way through and around Liz’s vocals with an almost ethereal beauty, going slightly heavy at just the right moments.
“The inspiration for the guitar parts comes from Radiohead and Ambulance LTD,” Corey continued. “It’s ambient, ‘reverby’ and ‘surfy’ almost, at times.”
Liz added, “I think it’s almost a juxtaposition of dream elements with rock.”
Still in search of that special Cordial Sins sound, they released the track “Go On” in September 2016. Picking up where “Goodbye” left off, “Go On” shows the band growing into the sound they have been searching for.
“I think there are tracks on ‘Daze’ that hint at where we want to go,” Corey says of their evolving sound. “‘AM’, ‘Places’, ‘You’ and ‘Sway’ are pretty good indications of where the distorted guitars come from and the pushiness in our new sound. It’s definitely a conscious effort by us to move in that direction.
“We’ve always wanted to be more guitar-heavy. It’s just a matter of doing it and getting to that point.”
“Go On” has that ambient and ethereal quality that was prevalent throughout “Daze”, but with an underlying heaviness that showcases their growing maturity.
Liz’s vocals were reminiscent of early Deborah Harry and Voice of the Beehive on “Daze.” For their latest effort, she melds a maturing Deborah Harry, but sprinkles in some Polly Jean Harvey. Her voice is the perfect companion for the heavier sound.
Asked if the new EP will be a continuation of the “Go On” sound, Corey said, ” Yes, definitely. It’s very guitar-heavy and in the same realm (as ‘Go On’).”
Liz jumped in and said, “There are a few songs that aren’t as dark as ‘Go On’, and then there’s one that’s even heavier than ‘Go On.’ I mean, it doesn’t sound like ‘Sway’ or ‘The Fall’, which are very much in the Folk realm.”
The underlying emotion of “Go On” is aurally appealing, while at the same time portending things to come.
“I think we’re getting real close,” Corey said of settling on their sound. “We’re almost there. We’re getting more comfortable with the creative process.
“That process for ‘Daze’ was so much about pulling apart. When I listen to the very first demoes of those songs, I wonder how did we even get there in the end? But now, it’s so much more…”
“Streamlined,” interjected Liz.
“… yes, so much more ‘BAM! Here it is!’ So yeah, I would say we’re getting very close,” concluded Corey.
They are in the process of recording the new material and getting their sound just right. They’re anticipating a Fall release for the new music, although they have debuted a few of the new songs at recent shows.
A welcomed helping-hand, exposure-wise for the band, has been Columbus radio station CD 102.5 and their long-standing support of local music.
“I think we’ve developed a pretty good relationship with many of the people at CD 102.5 over the course of a year and a half,” said Liz. “The whole ‘independent radio thing’ is great. I think it all started when we started doing ‘Local Love’ (WWCD-sponsored showcase).”
“Doing the ‘Local Love’ was like the coolest thing, back then,” Corey said. “It was a thing for almost two years for us. It was a scene that CD 102.5 helped to create.”
One of the last of the independent radio stations, CD 102.5 has long been a proponent of supporting the community they serve. As Randy Malloy once told me, they’re “hyper-local”, and this has not gone unnoticed by the local musicians.
“They’re really involved in the community,” said Liz, “and we appreciate them being so involved in the local music scene. That doesn’t happen everywhere.”
Corey summed it up by saying, “People don’t realize how we’re really lucky to have CD 102.5 in Columbus.”
With new music coming out this Fall, we are anxiously anticipating what The Cordial Sins will offer to the masses. We have a hunch that it will mark a new level for the band. But don’t take our word for it. Go see them yourself. You surely won’t be disappointed.
The Cordial Sins next local show is at The Basement on March 11, 2017.