For some bizarre reason I’m extremely new to the beautiful world of Cold Specks. Fortunately, music is one the world’s ageless mediums for expression – you can never be too late to listen and love.
The first track I stumbled upon was Absisto, though less of a stumble – it was a Fader piece on songwriters reclaiming indie rock that drew my gaze that way. I later found an article briefly interviewing Ladan Hussein, AKA Cold Specks; an interesting and revealing feature touching on various black female guitarists‘ feelings about and within the music industry, which is important to read. The article also underlined Ladan’s mutual appreciation of the one and only Brittany Howard, and from here on in the light grew brighter and brighter.
The sound at first reminded me greatly of Cold War Kids – We Used To Vacation and Hang Me Up To Dry were in regular rotation in my life a decade ago. The nostalgia kicked in well, but it was swiftly enhanced or perhaps even replaced by an unwavering appreciation for the unique songwriting – lyrics you’ve heard nothing like, a musical structure and performance style free from the confines of genre, a string of addictive, meandering melodies, and a phenomenally hypnotic presence of passion.
Five videos in and I discovered Holland. The song and the video together are sheer brilliance. Five repeat plays later – five seems to be the magic number – and there’s nothing left to do but write about it, and then listen again. And again. And again. A stunningly talented artist of Somali descent, currently based in Toronto. Here’s hoping a UK visit is on the cards some time soon.
“If it’s at all feasible to place creative output above any biases, then I don’t see why both media & music can’t be more of an open playground for everyone.” – Cervante Pope of The Deli magazine, also included in the LA Weekly article on black female guitarists.