• John Van de Mergel

Albums | Danielia Cotton, A Different War


De muziek van de New Yorkse klinkt helemaal rozegeur en maneschijn. Haar leven was dit echter niet en ook in haar teksten steekt ze een 'boodschap'. De eerste drie nummers zijn catchy meezingers die het zowel in de auto als op een concert erg goed zullen doen: lekker in het oor liggende soulrockers waarbij de gitaren domineren en het soulelement eerder in de sfeer ligt (horns krijgen we niet te horen). Beide volgende tracks zijn soulrockballads waarbij vooral If You Don't Want Me blijft hangen. Enige echte verrassing is de afsluiter She Too waarop Danielia Cotton een wat ruigere rock&roll kant van zich laat horen met zowel de stem als gitaren licht distorted.

A Different War toont opnieuw dat Cotton mooie nummers kan schrijven en ook wel wat te vertellen heeft. Kwalitatief egaal zonder uitschieters waardoor deze EP misschien aan het grote publiek ongemerkt voorbij zal gaan.


Releasedatum: 29 mei 2020


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A Different War finds the gutsy New Yorker swimming through the tumultuous social issues of racism and greed, and the tempestuous waters of love and relationships. These are songs deeply rooted in the protest anthems of yesterday but built for the current state of our world. A multi-racial, gospel-fueled, Jewish blues-rocker who believes in the power of womanhood, Cotton grew up in a predominantly white New Jersey community as one of just seven black kids in her high school. She has survived cancer and the tragic loss of twins at birth, only to bounce back and finally welcome a daughter in 2018. Cotton’s consistent ability to overcome pain and express it through music shines a light on the issues of the day and shows the world what it's like to fight “A Different War.”

“This is the first album I’ve made that includes songs that are both social and personal,” says Cotton. “On several of these songs I tried to get out of my own head and talk about the world outside. I think about the experiences of my listeners. I like when the listener can jump into a song.”

The title track examines how the reality of people of color getting called into battle as a result of being marginalized informs their entire existence. Featuring a guest appearance by prominent Bronx hip-hop artist Mickey Factz, the song also urges us to press ahead because of the ongoing need for substantive change. “Cheap High” is a stomping rocker that finds Cotton probing our precarious economic situation, speaking to both a personal unhappiness arising from greed, and the dangers of a society mired in economic disparity and despair. The evocative and transporting music of “Forgive Me” mimics the lyrics, which Cotton wrote with her sister, Catherine Fulmer-Hogan, stressing the necessity of forgiveness in any relationship in order for its survival. The fierce feminist anthem “She Too” is a propulsive rocker that rides along a screaming lead solo. Cotton’s bluesy vocals on this track defiantly proclaim not only equality but righteous anger at anyone who wants to silence women for raising their voices in unity against abuse, ill and unequal treatment.

A Different War is a true collaboration with some of the most talented musicians and technicians in the business. From Aaron Comess (Spin Doctors, Joan Osborne, Edie Brickell) on drums, Ben Butler (Sting, George Michael, Chris Botti) on guitar, and Andy Hess (Gov’t Mule, Black Crowes) on bass, to young gun guitarist Emmanuel Rossillo working his first major studio project, the record resonates with innovation and flare. The finishing touches of the brilliant mix provided by Dave O’Donnell (James Taylor, Sheryl Crow, John Mayer) and the mastering of Greg Calbi (numerous hits over the past 20 years) make this record a true meeting of the best of the best.

The evidence is clear on A Different War that DANIELIA COTTON continues to evolve and challenge herself as a musician. Fifteen years since her breakout as an Artist to Watch by influential Philadelphia public radio outlet WXPN, Cotton remains a true indie artist fighting for independence – the space to create her own sound and an audience that would journey with her.



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