”While looking for material to use for [the Netflix series] Stranger Things from the mid-80’s for my publishing company, we found the long lost tapes for a record I never put out” says legendary and iconic singer/songwriter Josie Cotton about her soon to be released album (release date: October 4, 2019 via Kitten Robot / Cleopatra Records). “They turned up in these leaky rafters of our studio and the last one in my old producer’s storage facility. They were in pretty rough shape and had to be baked for a couple of days, but when we finally listened it was incredible to go back in time like that.” It’s surreptitious that a Netflix series that recalls a bygone era would rediscover such a gorgeously fun album that was literally buried away, but like the popular series which genuinely honors the ’80s, Everything Is Oh Yeah is an actual piece of nostalgia that is experiencing a rebirth.
“This record was supposed to be my third record for Elektra before I was taken out with the trash” quips Cotton. “We decided to make the record anyway and started getting label interest pretty early on. Jimmy Iovine was reaching out and my old manager Randy Philips appeared out of nowhere so I knew there was a buzz going on. But I just couldn’t make myself want to enter that world again.” Freed from the confines of the corporate music industry Josie began down the long road of re-inventing herself which continues to this day.
The artist who saw a huge surge in popularity with such massive international singles “Johnny Are You Queer?”, “Jimmy loves Maryanne” and “He Could Be The One” had lost track of that album from 1986 and it lay in dormancy, waiting to be rediscovered. After extensive cleaning up and mixing of the tracks, Everything Is Oh Yeah is a new album of older material, rooted in time but timeless in aural appeal.
1 “Everything Is Oh Yeah”
2 “The Way You Rock”
3 “If You Really Want Me To”
5 “Sometimes Girl”
6 “The Night Before” (w/Brian Setzer )
7 “Loves Love”
8 “Hand Over Your Heart”
10 “Far Away From The Crowd”
11 “Fine As You Are”
12 “Here Comes My Baby”
From the celebratory kick off title track with its chiming guitars and Josie’s playful vocals adding some girlgroup realness to the layered vocals of the dreamy “Boulevard” to the surf-guitar sway of “Sometimes Girl”, Everything Is Oh Yeah travels through retro 1950s and 1960s big-bouffant girl group melodies and rhythms while maintaining a modern nod to the experimental nature of New Wave. The herky jerky Mod of “The Night Before” features the vocals of Stray Cat Brian Setzer (he played guitar on two other tracks), whose appearance on the record comes with a memorable run-in between Setzer and anarchist punk fashion and music icon Malcolm McLaren.
“Brian Setzer and Malcolm McLaren dropped by the studio at the same time one day,” reminisces Josie. “They were very good friends of my producer Larson Paine. We were are all just hanging out and having a really interesting conversation about the future of music” Malcolm famously believed that hip hop would rule the day. He advised Josie to erase the record and completely start over or risk becoming obsolete. “It was Brian who actually came to my defense and said he thought it was a great record. That rock ’n’roll could never die.” It was a heated debate that went on and on. “Here I was with 2 brilliant iconic figures trying to give me polar opposite career advice simultaneously. I was so confused I couldn’t remember why I wanted to do music at all or even live on this earth” laughs Cotton. “They were both right, of course.”
Thankfully, not only does Josie have a new album coming but she is also planning a record release party on Saturday, October 5, 2019 at Los Angeles’ House of Machines (2028 East, 7th Street, Los Angeles, CA; $7). “We’ll definitely perform a number of these songs from Everything Is Oh Yeah at the release party,” she says excitedly. “I just hope it takes people back to a simpler world for a second. It didn’t seem very innocent back then but it turns out we were fucking Bambi.”
Just last month, Josie released the brand new single “Ukrainian Cowboy” b/w “Cold War Spy” on an unsuspecting public to unanimous applause, with Medium.com praising, “Subtly reminiscent of Nancy Sinatra’s ‘These Boots Are Made For Walkin’,’ the song blends flavors of country, pop, and new wave, along with tints of traditional Russian folk music, into a tasty sonic confection.” Essentially Pop adds, “Josie Cotton’s vocals betray her new wave roots, and her devotion to film noir; the melody meanwhile harks back to girl groups, Nancy Sinatra…and the Bolshoi Ballet. It’s a true merger of east and west, and crosses cultural boundaries as much as musical ones.” The Tinnitist chimes “Uncork the new sounds of Josie Cotton” and says of the fun technicolor video that is “set against a twangy spaghetti-western backdrop and a colourful video to match. Saddle up.”
With the album ready for release and the show to celebrate it, Josie is looking forward to what happens next. “I love my band, I love my fans, and I love this record,” she beams. “And I’ll give it my all.”
Singer/songwriter/bandleader Josie Cotton hails from Dallas Texas. In the early 1980s, Cotton had an international hit with “Johnny Are You Queer?” which was included on the soundtrack of the seminal film Valley Girl. She also appeared in the film with her band the Party Crashers as well as Jackass Number Two. Josie is known for her quirky stylizations and musical experimentation from pop to rockabilly, electronica, swamp, lounge, Western, garage rock and beyond. She has to date recorded seven albums including Invasion of the B-Girls, a collection of B-movie theme songs (great songs from bad movies) from the 1960s and ‘70s, which included liner notes by John Waters who noted, “Josie Cotton has made the unlistenable unforgettable.”
Now Cotton can add record company mogul to her resume. With the formation of Kitten Robot Records, Cotton will be reissuing her entire catalog on her own label throughout the upcoming year. The first release is a single of two brand new songs with a Russian theme: “Ukrainian Cowboy” b/w “Cold War Spy.” The vinyl version will be released on the infamous Sympathy for the Record Industry label.Two further releases follow on all formats: Everything is Oh Yeah was to be her third record for Elektra back in the ‘80s. It has been re-mixed and mastered and will be released in partnership with Cleopatra Records. The previously mentioned Invasion of the B-Girls will also be released in early 2020; the vinyl version of that LP will come out on Dionysus Records. Additionally, Josie is playing select dates with her stellar band which features Paul Roessler (Screamers/Twisted Roots) and Kevin Preston (Prima Donna/Longshot).
I grew up in a household full of rock music, studied journalism in college, and then became a scientist.Although my science career has served me well, music has always played a major role in my life. I grew up reading "Creem" magazine; I play several musical instruments as a "hobby";and it seems a camera has always been in my hand. Now, I am combining what I love the most--music and photography--serving as editor of Rock At Night. I travel between the US and UK seeking my dream! My motto: life is short...no regrets. Chyrisse
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