Jody Cooper Gives Us “Serenades & Odes to a Cracked World”
There are few things more inspiring than marching to your drum and finding your own way in the world. Multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, performer, busker and “Walking Jukebox“ – Jody Cooper has many guises, but he always stays true to himself. His own songs combine a love of melody and style experimentation borrowed from his parent’s record collection (The Beatles meets Kraftwerk) with his distinctive, powerful voice and lyrics that, as he puts it, “look beyond the surface, to tackle the reality of things and the uncomfortable truths they tell”. After his first visit and concerts to the U.S. in 2016, 2017 sees the release of his most ambitious project so far, ‘Serenades and Odes to a Cracked World‘: his first crowd-funded concept album.
Growing up in the eighties as an English boy in a rural Scottish town, Jody always felt he had to try harder than the next kid: “People would look at me strangely because I spoke ‘funny’, so I learnt to embrace that and combine it with my love of performing in order to feel accepted”. Starting with violin lessons and classroom performances at the age of six – for which he inherited the moniker ‘Elton Cooper’ – and later teaching himself piano, bass and guitar. “I couldn’t really read music”, he remembers. “Luckily, I discovered I had a natural aptitude for picking things up simply by listening to them”. He started writing his own songs at the age of fourteen, and at sixteen he awoke one morning with a voice in his head telling him he would be a musician. From then on, music became the only thing that mattered.
With his latest album, Jody does a fantastic job of opening himself up to his new audience. With incredibly expressive vocals and precocious instrumentation, Jody paints a vivid yet deeply complex picture. Thumping tracks like “Home“,”The Great Divide” and ” You Can Not Make It On Your Own” showcase Jody’s ability to channel heavier rock-leaning elements, while more pensive and subdued tunes like “Silence“, “Living In Hell” and “It’s Alright” add some emotional balance. This entire album is a left-of-center rollercoaster ride with many dips and turns to keep you engaged.
After many years performing in bands as a self-employed musician, in 2006 he decided to go back to school and get a degree in music at the University of Liverpool. In 2007 he realized a long-held dream of creating his own album entitled ‘Ten a Penny’ – a self-financed and self-produced project five years in the making. After a stint with ‘Sense of Sound’ (an acapella group whose collaborations include Seal, Damon Albarn, Jon Bon Jovi and Imogen Heap), several releases and European tours followed. After years playing for saturated British audiences and following in the footsteps of his childhood heroes The Beatles, he left the UK and relocated to Germany to pursue his music career.
In 2015 he released his first download-only singles: “Silence” – inspired by the plight of the Bahá’ís in Iran – and “Immortal Friend” – a song written for his brother and occasional band colleague Robbie Cooper: an exceptional drummer who died of a rare and aggressive form of cancer in 2014.