Secret Meeting score: 77
by Philip Moss
Musically, the gentle opening bars of FMK – the first track on Jackie Cohen’s debut album, Zagg – don’t really prepare you for the zaniness of what is to follow. But before it even reaches the one minute mark, she’s discussed dreams about her mother-in-law and started to play Fuck Marry Kill. And once the track does kick in, the record offers up a half hour ride of mad pop that flirts somewhere between Phil Spector and the Grease soundtrack.
Get Out is a little moodier in tone and sees Cohen channelling Karen O. But it’s single, Chico Chico, really shows off the Spacebomb House Band sound that has become synonymous with co-producer, Matthew E. White’s work – its pulsing backing track comprising of fuzz guitars, doo pop backing vocals and the record’s most sugary sweet melody. Also alongside White on production duties is her husband, Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado (Father John Misty, Whitney) – and the baroque influences synonymous with his work are aplenty with Yesterday’s Baby falling very close in feel to his work on Weyes Blood’s Titanic Rising. While My Size and Take Care of Your Skin recall Hollywood royalty, Nancy Sinatra.
Cohen gave up careers in marketing and teaching to pursue her career in music, and it certainly is to our benefit. Because as unconventional and eccentric as Zagg is, it’s also a hit!