Today (Oct. 5), the debut album from exceptional Columbus, Ohio-based singer/songwriter Cole Vargas is being released via Northern Kentucky's SofaBurn Records (home to recent albums from Cincy talent like The TIllers and Lung).
Below check out the premiere of Vargas' music video for the self-titled LP track "Something Bitter."
The album was produced by Ohio music great Kelley Deal (of The Breeders), who originally chose it for a limited-edition vinyl release via the Joyful Noise label's White Label Series last September. The music video was shot by Patrick Bertram Hague at Candyland Recording Studio in Dayton, Ky.
Here's what Deal has to say about being introduced to Vargas and his music:
“Oh, you should hear my son. He plays beautifully! Look at this video of him playing piano,” says a good friend of mine.
I’m thinking to myself, Well of course you like whatever he does… You’re his mother! But instead I say, “Lemme see that.” I watch the video and it’s reeeeally lovely – I am genuinely impressed and ask, “What’s the song he’s playing?” She explains that it’s his own composition and then she tells me about her son, Cole.
Cole is a self-taught artist and musician. He just picks up an instrument and plays it. There was an attempt at music lessons when he was a child but they came to an abrupt end when the piano teacher proclaimed Cole was ‘unable to be taught.’ Cole has a form of autism called Asperger’s Syndrome. Working with him on this record has been a revelatory experience, observing how it affects his ability to write and perform his songs, both negatively and positively. After my first chat with his mom about his music, Cole and I exchanged contact info. Over the next few years he sent me his songs – old demos, roughly recorded piano pieces, and full-realized songs. He played, wrote and recorded all the instruments. I was impressed with the range of his music, his smart lyrics and unaffected vocals. I admire that he is not afraid to create from a position of vulnerability and is willing to let the listener hear it – which is something I always struggle with.
He and I worked with Mike Brivadsky at Russian Recording in Bloomington, IN giving sonic cohesion to this collection of dark birds. Drummer Ben Lumsdaine replaced Cole’s computer beats with a human groove, and my friend Jocelyn Hatch played some gorgeous viola.
I’m so pleased to share Cole’s music with a wider audience… an audience other than just a proud mother.”