I first heard Curtis Cooper sing and play while at a Bernie Sanders support show, somewhere in North Philly - close to Temple.
My friend Lauren and I were there to see Weatherhead (you know them, we talk about them all the time), but we were excited to see where the night would bring us. I'm pretty much brand new to the local scene in Philadelphia. In the garage, dudes in bands walked around moving instruments and lights, tested out their sound.
I remember being very cold, but huddled next to other people who look like me and like music like me, excited to see what this garage show could offer up. Enter in Curtis Cooper - singer/songwriter originally from Philadelphia, PA. He didn't introduce himself, he just began playing and I can remember thinking, "Ok, this is a good start."
Imagine Neutral Milk Hotel vibes had a baby with Elliot Smith, they call it Radiohead, or Bright Eyes. Forget how time works and just imagine that.
Originally from South Philly, Curtis Cooper began playing music when he was extremely young, influenced by his Father - guitar, cello, piano & choir. He attended Paul Green's School Of Rock, a place where he (at 13, mind you) was able to get into a lot of Classic Rock, something that fueled his drive to continue on with music, and especially guitar. Curtis explained to me that he hadn't played in many bands growing up, a few in High School with monickers like "The Stretchmarks," or "Don't Get Caught." Curtis explained it as a sort of thing he fooled around with - up until recently.
It wasn't until about a year ago that Curtis Cooper says he felt he became serious about music. It was at this time that he decided to really throw himself into the Curtis Cooper Project. To do this, Curtis took some old songs he had written (after wondering why he had never wanted to focus on making music he really felt for) and hit up some contacts to help him create his album including Scott Stitzer (drums, production), Jack Zaferes (Bass), Morgane Fouse (Ganou) (vocals on two tracks), and Nick Barnes (engineering).
With the help from his fellow artists, Curtis Cooper was able to get Laughing In Line completed. The debut album includes 9 tracks, all written and created by Curtis - of course with the help of his collection of artistic minds also. Laughing In Line was the beginning of shows for Cooper - it garnered attraction, and he expressed to me in a recent interview, "I was able to play my songs, and I really just started doing this way more recently than I should have."
I would have to agree with Curtis on that sentiment. Laughing In Line is such a sincere and cathartic album which creates and utilizes sound to experience emotion with the listener. While the actual instrumental basis of Cooper's music is generally more upbeat and quickly paced, it is also deceiving in using it's ability to hide the fragility and sincerity of lyrical and vocal emotional movements - but, we'll talk about that more in our album review!
It would seem that the local Philly singer/songwriter/musician is on a brand new path. One that got me excited to look him up when I saw him play, to play the album at least once a day. It also seems to be one that seems to excite Curtis Cooper with endless possibilities as well - with talks of a second album to come!
The Hook will be following Curtis Cooper for as long as he'll let us! We'll have a review of Laughing In Line coming soon, as well as an exclusive interview with Curtis detailing his beginnings, his goals, his dream meal, and politics.
Laughing In Line is available on Spotify, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, and iTunes so there isn't any reason you shouldn't be checking this guy out.
Stay tuned for more on the impressive Philadelphia born & raised, Curtis Cooper - and for more on him and what he is up to (or anything I talked about in this article) check out his social media below to compliment him or suggest different ways to cook potatoes!
Curtis Cooper: Facebook // Bandcamp // Soundcloud