Coultrain

In Hear This, A.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well. This week, like the sheep we are, we’re picking songs by the first bands we loved because a significant other loved them.

A guy I briefly dated made casual references to a cousin of his who was a singer, and while I politely acknowledged him, I never pressed for more information. Cousins and artistic endeavors generally don’t mix, and I was trying to spare myself the usual awkwardness of pretending I’m hearing the same thing as someone with a genetic bias. It didn’t help that said cousin recorded under the name Coultrain, which seemed a bit grandiose and set up expectations that couldn’t possibly be met. Eventually, my curiosity got the best of me, so I tracked down the music of Coultrain (né Aaron Frison) and was more than pleasantly surprised. His debut album, 2007’s The Adventures Of Seymour Liberty, quickly became one of my favorite records, and I anticipated his next batch of outré R&B.

The relationship didn’t last, because let’s face it, most of them don’t, but I continued to follow Coultrain as he released music at a perfectionist’s pace. Late last year, he released a new EP, Side Effex Of Make-Believe, and one of tracks stuck out to me because of how I found out about Coultrain’s music in the first place. In “Let’s Pretend It’ll Last,” he speaks to the intoxicating, shared delusion that is romantic love. The song is wistful, not cynical, but the lyrics are startling contrasted with the bright, lounge-inspired music, which sounds like an unearthed Percy Faith composition. It makes for a terrific score for the epilogue of a relationship that, like most, was a worthy endeavor that concluded long before either of us would have anticipated.

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