Cocksure Was Released On November 6th Via Don Giovanni Records.
Cocksure reads a bit like a nice local record. Even if prolific indie/folk rock song writer Laura Stevenson isn’t from your home town she very well could be. Stevenson comes across as the kind of local hero you hear about all the time as they slowly slog their way to recognition of sorts in the world of indie music. Simply put, the music of Cocksure is simple and fun. The songs are short and sweet in a good way. Nice satisfying garage rock. As I was once told “don’t bore us, get to the chorus”. That shouldn’t sound like a scathing criticism. Stevenson wears it as a badge of honor as she barrels her way through tunes like “Happier, Etc.” and “Jellyfish” with lots of sing-along potential. The upbeat tracks are energetic. The kind of bar room rock you might enjoy after a few beers.
First impressions aside, Cocksure functions, artistically, like an introduction to the character of Laura Stevenson. She exposes her feelings and insecurities until we find ourselves quite familiar with each other by the time the album comes to a close. Stevenson isn’t afraid to slow things down either and explores the other side of alternative pop. “Diet of Worms” starts out like a lost nineties radio single and burst to life with moments of arena rock to help ease us into its ecstatic conclusion. Stevenson clearly doesn’t “suffer fools”. Whether Punk or Indie the songs are straight forward and to the point. The melodies are enjoyable with little sense that you’re getting ripped off with filler material.
The lead single, “Torch Song”, is the closest thing to an anthem that you’ll get out of Cocksure. Stevenson sings “it’s a torch song if you need a torch… it’s a touchstone but you don’t like to be touched”. “Torch Song” is fun and bouncy with hints of introspection in the lyrics. Just enough, maybe, to make it a bona fide underground indie single. Essentially it’s a hit, but only if you need one.
If Cocksure has a drawback it’s this: it upholds the status quo for better or for worse. Stevenson’s music is the kind of high quality college rock that you might see with your girlfriend at a bar on a Friday night. It’s the kind of local indie flavor that, as quaint and solid as it is, doesn’t stand out in a world of increasingly experimental and challenging music. If you’re going for something that’s been done the sad truth is that you’d better do it so damn well that you blow everyone else away. Don’t get me wrong Cocksure is a good album with plenty of great moments. The songs are well written and catchy and Stevenson has a very personal, relatable songwriting style that fits well with the different genres of punk and indie that she works in. However, so do a multitude of other artists working in Stevenson’s genre.
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