Ready for Wide Awake

Montreal trio Cola curate a playlist of songs for blissed-out roadtrips
By Alex James Taylor | Music | 9 May 2023

Cola / photography by Colin Medley

This article is part of Playlists – Tunes to live by

In the autumn of 2019, Montreal four-piece Ought simultaneously announced their break-up and the formation of a new band, Cola, featuring members Tim Darcy and Ben Stidworthy, alongside Evan Cartwright. Born from relaxed jamming sessions, this new venture offered a fresh sense of freedom and exploration as rhythms, patterns and sounds organically took form. Like their namesake drink, the band’s debut record Deep In View (named after an anthology of interviews with British philosopher Alan Watts) fizzes. Driven by snappy riffs and motorik beats, Darcy’s synonymous clipped vocals and sophisticated lyrics paint rich compositions that weave in and out of reality, creating new worlds that flicker and float.

As the band prepare to travel to London to perform at Wide Awake festival later this month, we asked them to pull together a playlist of tracks that’ll be playing on their journey. Needless to say, they nailed it.

Kali Malone – Sacrificial Code 1
“A hypnotic piece for organ by American composer Kali Malone. The piece is rendered so vividly that you almost feel the air from the organ hitting your skin as you listen.”

Thom Gill – The First Time I Loved You
For years, all of Toronto was waiting for Thom Gill to drop his next record. This year he put out Eat The Wind. This is the second track, sung by Bernice’s Robin Dann.

Lune Très Belle – La Mite
A beautiful new song by cherished Montrealer Lune Très Belle.

Eliza Niemi – Staying Mellow Blows
A song about grieving the end of a friendship while on the road.

Word for Word – Julian Lage
A sentimental jazz song from the Bay-Area prodigy Julian Lage. I really identify emotive and rustic melodies with my own songwriting although he is on a different level of compositional sophistication.

Softie – K-Lone
I slept on this EP from my favourite UK electronic producer out of Brighton. On the radio all other tracks sound bad next to K-Lone’s highly creative production.

Badge Époque Ensemble & Lammping – Don’t
A special classic hip-hop offering from some of the most talented musicians in Toronto.

Modern Jazz Quartet & The Oscar Peterson Trio – Joy Spring
One of my favourite standards that’d I’d never heard Oscar Peterson play until recently. I love the way he draws out that theme which is normally so straight forward stone cold classic.

Piano Sonata in E minor: II. Andante – Althea Waites
Twentieth-Century American classical piano composition with jazz and ragtime phrasing good for contemplative walking.

Cola play Wide Awake festival on 27th May – buy tickets here.

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