Release Date 06/12/2012
(Olde English Spelling Bee & Crinoline Records)
The color pink corresponds metaphysically with the 3rd cosmic ray, symbolizing divine love and gentleness. The expression of the pink ray acts as a means of communication or interaction by radio, telephone, and telegraph and accesses the power to travel to inner planes. The keys unlock this ability, and the keyhole represents the portal we pass through.
Pink Keys is the 4th solo album from musician & visual artist Alice Cohen. Using the idea of etheric keyholes as portals, the 11 songs act as keys; unlocking visions of different eras, places and dimensions of consciousness. The album showcases Cohen's versatility as a musician and songwriter by drawing from a wide range of influences including her roots in 70’s Philly Soul/disco, 80’s new wave, and cosmic electronic music. Pink Keys unfurls like a roll of old film, revealing scenes of mystical realms and utopian beachscapes, as well as tawdry street scenes, where neon hotel signs blink, and a magician’s silks flutter.
The album was recorded over a span of nine months at her home in Brooklyn, and was mixed by Chris Moore (Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, TV on the Radio, Liars) at Headgear Studios. It features guest appearances from Autre Ne Veut and Danny Lane (Sofa Club) on backing vocals, Thor Harris (Swans/Smog/Shearwater) on percussion, and Sara Villard (K-Holes/Bezoar) on saxophone. The album also features a new version of her instrumental “The Lacemakers” which was previously released on Daniel Lopatin’s (Oneohtrix Point Never/Games) 2010 compilation “Radio Scenic Glow Volume One”. It was a key release in the new synth/hypnagogic pop underground with tracks by Julian Lynch, Autre Ne Veut, Stellar OM Source, OPN, Games, and Gatekeeper.
Alice was born into a musical household. Both of her parents were professional jazz pianists. Her mother was a “society” bandleader who specialized in Gershwin and Cole Porter songs. Her father ran a small recording studio, once sat in with Charlie Parker’s band for a gig (when he was only 16!), and still performs on a regular basis. Alice started writing songs at an early age, and began playing in clubs at 15. She worked on her vocal chops and stage persona in a disco cover band, then formed the funk band Fun City in her late teens. Fun City won a radio contest sponsored by Philly’s WMMR, and their first recording was produced by Larry Gold (the producer behind the Philly Soul hit “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now”) . It was released on a compilation by Chrysalis Records. Another Fun City song written by Alice titled “Deetour”, was picked up by Atlantic Records’ disco diva Karen Young as the follow up single to her hit “Hot Shot”. In the early 80’s, Cohen sang and played keyboards for art-rock band The Moroccos, then became vocalist/keyboardist with new wave synth-pop band, The Vels. The Vels were signed to Mercury/Polygram and worked with producers Steven Stanley (Tom Tom Club) and Steve Levine (Culture Club). They toured as opening band for the Psychedelic Furs, and shared bills with many 80's acts such as Thompson Twins, Divinyls, Berlin, and The Pretenders.
In the '90s, Cohen's alt/grunge band Die Monster Die was signed to Roadrunner Records and were a fixture in the NY noise scene. The band was popular on college radio, and toured Europe with Nova Mob, featuring Grant Hart of Husker Du. Post DMD projects include Spoiler (with Mark C of Live Skull), Espadrille, The Long Lost, Lydsod, and Castles.
In 2008, Alice turned her attention to solo recordings, and released Sky Flowers, a polished pop album, on her own Crinoline Records. A collection of experimental song sketches titled Walking Up Walls followed in 2009, on Olde English Spelling Bee. The start of 2012 saw the release of Wild Vines and Tenement Shrines - an eight song cassette release on Tokyo’s Sixteen Tambourines label.
In addition to her musical work, Alice is also an accomplished visual artist. Her paintings and collages have been included in several exhibitions and in 2008 she began making stop-motion animations. These quickly became a vehicle for the music videos of her friends within the thriving Brooklyn music and art scene. Her first animated video was made for the song "Landrunner" by Ducktails , and since then she has made videos for bands including Coasting, K-Holes, Deleted Scenes, Band In Heaven, and Majical Cloudz. She has also worked on several longer-form animated films featuring her own instrumental music as the soundtrack - these films have been shown in exhibitions and festivals worldwide including Anthology Archives (NYC), Millennium (NYC), Egyptian Theatre (Los Angeles), Castro Theater (San Francisco), New Museum (NYC), Neon Marshmellow Festival (Chicago), Techniques Of The Observer (New Delhi, India), Moving Frames (Greece), and Festival Of Gratitude (Copenhagen, Denmark).