You may recognize the name Phil Cook from his sideman gigs in Megafaun and Hiss Golden Messenger or his collaborations with Justin Vernon in Gayngs and DeYarmond Edison. Cook’s been lurking on the fringes of the South’s experimental folk-rock renaissance, but he’s more than just a backing musician. His full-length solo debut, Southland Mission, drops this fall, though it’s definitely not solo in practice. Members of Bon Iver, Sylvan Esso, Hiss Golden Messenger, the Be Good Tanyas, Frazey Ford, Mandolin Orange, Mount Moriah, Blind Boys Of Alabama, and Matthew E. White all band together to amplify Cook’s sound.
The Vernon-like tendencies are evident on first single “Great Tide,” with its gentle plucking and slurring coos, but the track picks up more than any Bon Iver track ever would, fit with hand claps and the chant “It’s gonna be a good time!” Ultimately, “Great Tide” is a Volcano Choir song disguised as a feel-good Southern-rock summer jam — consider it a close cousin to Hiss Golden Messenger’s “Saturday’s Song.” Listen below.
Southland Mission is out 9/11 on Thirty Tigers.