Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Cory Bishop - Cory Bishop EP

It's past my bedtime, so I'll keep this short. But do you ever have an experience where you immediately write off music based on your first listen, when you link that music with something generic and disposable? And then, when you listen another time, and then another, you realize that there's something really special there?

That's exactly how I feel about Cory Bishop. I don't know who sent me this album (thanks person), but it was probably hidden in the small pocket of my car where I keep a stack of CDs that I eventually get around to, but in no rush. And then I popped it in today, and it sounded like a generic alt-country album that is like the definition of most boring music to me.

I have to admit, leading off with "You Can't Take Me" might not have been the wisest choice if you want to attract Danielle Sills' in the future. But I'm trying not to be so shallow to overlook an entire EP based on the over-compressed alt-country nugget that is this song. And, well, even this nugget grew on me.

But the more I listen to the five songs on this release, the more I find hints of things I like. Little melodies here and there, lyrics that are clever and concise, and then, the ultimate compliment, a song that reminds me of Josh Ritter, a man who I think has some of the best songcraft of modern times (not to mention the best lyrics).

I like the sad ones best. "Crown of Thorns" has great imagery -- they're sitting in the back of a beat up truck with the radio playing unmemorable songs and commercials about diamond rings... then this lyric happens: "when we wake I'm gonna take back everything I say/but you'll never get back what you're letting me steal away." It's the sad regret of a man who knows he shouldn't be doing what he's doing.

But it's not until the final track, "Honey I Ain't," that I really decided I supremely enjoy this little mini-album. It creeps forward, cascading easily like a good Josh Ritter song, building and backing off and building again each chorus. It gallops forward with a nice beat, and how could you not love picturing this lyric? "The city streets are filled with empty/except the fog that's slowly lifting," he croons, "the buildings try to scrape the sky/by this point i've memorized the shade of green encompassed by your eyes." Bishop does this nice thing with rhyming without you realizing that he's doing it, so it sounds paced, but not obvious. I really like that. I really like this song.

If you're a fan of Ritter or The Head and the Heart, check him out. He's in Nashville, and he's touring, and hopefully getting big soon.

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