II

by Benji Cossa

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about

New York songman Benji Cossa was born on July 29th, 1976. His songs are sincere, poetic and hook-heavy, deploying Brill Building pop-classicism, along with genuine fearlessness, immediacy, intimacy. In his life he's written over six-hundred gems, and he's captured most of them on his 4-track cassette machine. On record and in person, Cossa's unmistakable singing voice proves itself as the most singular entertainer's weapon the man wields, a supple and full-toned song-beam that fills a room or a tape with warmth and credibility.

In the 90s, Mr. Cossa cut his teeth writing and 4-tracking beloved personalized mix-tapes for friends. His new double-album II captures the spirit of a chock-full, lovingly-dubbed C-90, titles scrawled on a tray card, mysteries found and solved on each play. While the beats and strums of II were made with a cadre of tight players in producer Travis Harrison's Serious Business Music recording studio in NYC, Cossa preserves the homespun spirit that defines all his work. This ambitious song suite is a 34-song, 90-minute aural jambalaya of hit-and-run miracles. Mr.Cossa somehow bends time and space and thus the nearly-insane run-time ofII flies by in a broken heartbeat. If you're not prepared to take the whole journey in a sitting, this record was designed to be consumed in smaller chunks too; there are two halves, or six symmetrical vinyl-sides, or 34 individual nuggets.

While II's tale-of-the-tape is impressive, it's laser-beam thematic focus establishes it as much more than a hodge-podge of winsome pop songs. On every track, Cossa evaluates the intricacies of relationships. II address both the heights and challenges of love, warts and all; one-on-one, so to speak. It can be funny, as on “Two Times,” or achingly sad, like “Same Old.” One hears yearning amidst playfulness, as on the falsetto-enriched "You Were Made to Tempt Me," which harkens to Frankie Valli, or "The Invisible Man" where Cossa croons "you don't appreciate me baby" atop a peppy and hard-driving bed of choogling acoustic guitars. There's lust, boredom, laughter, tears, doubt, contentedness, bliss and guilt all embedded between Cossa's lines of perfect melody.
II is Benji Cossa's third album of all-new recordings amongst a vast discography of archival compilations. It is both a strong point of entry for the Cossa-neophyte and a true feast for his longtime admirers. Featured players include drummer-producer Travis Harrison, three-quarters of psych-killers Yellowbirds in Brian Kantor, Annie Nero and Josh Kaufman, graphic artist/DFA alum Devin Flynn, world's-greatest-saxman Matt Moon, Higgins slowhand Kevin Fish, Two Man Gentlemen Band bassist The Councilman Fuller Condon, Bambi Kino's Erik Paparazzi and bassman Chris Buckridge. Oh yeah, and Cossa is pronounced KOH-sah, by the way.

These are songs people can take with them and use for their entire lives. Five years elapsed between the time of the first sessions and the eventual release date. This passing of time feels like a very natural thing. Benji Cossa's music is timeless.

credits

released June 22, 2014

BENJI COSSA: II
Recorded at Serious Business Music, NYC 2009-2013
Produced by Travis Harrison and Benji Cossa
Mastered by Jamal Ruhe at West West Side Music

Light in the Dark
Benji - everything

Diamond Dove
Benji - guitar and singing
Who played the piano?
Devin Flynn - bass and guitar
Travis - drummaggios

Where'd ya go?
Benji - guitar and singing
Devin Flynn - guitar and and bass
Kevin Fish - hot lead guitar
Travis - drums and perk

New Flowers
Benji - Gtr, vox
Brian Kantor - drums
Travis - congos and bongos
Annie Nero - bass
Eric Jackson - guitar
Josh Kaufman - piano, Wurlitzer
Matt Moon - sax
Nate Martinez - Gtr, organ
Who sang backup?
Kenny at southpaw recorded the 2nd half live

The Prettiest Thing
Benji: talent
Annie Nero: bass
Josh: Wurly
Eric Jackson: guitar
Travis: drummaggios
Brian Kantor: congos and bongos
Recorded by Kenny live at southpaw

Tempt Me
Benji: Gtr, voice
Travis - drums
Fuller the Councilman Condon: bass
Matt Moon - sax
Ben Heller - trumpet

The Invisible Man
Benji - Gtr, vox, kb
Travis - drums, bass
Steve Schiltz: acousticles, sweet guitar

Dance with your woman
Benji: acoustic, vox
Josh: electric Gtr
Annie; bass
Travis: drums

Don't let her
Benji: vox, keyboardz
Travis; hot stuff


Me I me I me
Benji: talent
Annie: bass
Josh: Gtr, piano
Brian : drumbeats
Travis : extra hi hats

Roslyn:
Benji: Male Vocals,male acoustic
Bass: Eric Jackson
Travis : Russian Dragon
Brian: bongo man
Matt moon: sax
Ben Heller: trumpet
Josh: pno

Sumpthin Goin Ahn
Benji: Gtr, vocals
Travis: drums, smackables


Annie Delia
Benji: guitar, voice
Travis: drums
Josh: bass, piano, keys
Matt moon: sax
Ben heller: trumpet

Since you've been around
Benji: vocal, acoustic gtr
Josh: pno. Gtr.
Brian: drums
Annie: bass
Travis: tambo, shkr
BenHeller: trump

You're with me
Benji: Gtr, voice
Fuller the councilman Condon: upright bass
Travis: drums

Yesterday was alright
Benji: Benji vocal and Gtr and synth, harmonica
Josh : guitar
Brian: drums
Travis: tambo, perk
Annie: bass

The best of my love
Benji everything

----

The 2nd half
Benji everything

2 times
Benji: Gtr vox bass
Travis: drums, cussion
Erik Paparazzi : two basses
Kevin Fish: hot lead guitar (slowerhand)

Maybe we can love like this forever
Benji: Benji acoustic
Travis:Drums
Josh: Gtr, pno
Annie: bass

The wrong guy
Benji: acoustic vocal
Brian : drums
Travis: Ferrell
Annie: bass
Josh: Gtr
Ben heller trumpet
Matt moon sax

Picture book or puzzle
BC v / g
Bk drum
Chris Buckridge bs
Moon/ sex

Let me hold on to You
BC v/g
Bk d
Matt moon sax

Nothing to Lose
Benji: guitar, vox, pno
Travis: drums, bass

Stoke It:
Benji: Gtr, vox
Matt moon: sax
Travis: drums
Josh:
Annie: bass

Jane:
Josh: Wurly
EJax: Gtr
Benji: Gtr/vox
Annie: bass
Matt moon: sax
Bk: drums
Travis: congo and bongo man
Kenny at southpaw recorded it live

Same Old
The Kantor Drums
The Cossa Voice and Guitar
The Kaufman Guitar
The Nero Bass

Affection
Brian drums
Benji sings and plays guitar
Annie's on the bass.
Josh Rocks piano and guitar.
Travis hits a conga.

Back Off My Mind
Brian Kantor: The Drums
Josh Kaufman: The Guitar
Travis Harrison: The Low Tambo
Annie Nero: The Bass
Benji Cossa: The Singing and Guitar


In the Ring
Buckridge on bass
Matt Moon on glock
Harrison on drums
Cossa sings and guitars

Forgive Me
Brian Kantor: beats
Cossa: funky keyz and voice

Let's Get Along Again
Cossa: music and voice
Harrison: percussion

I've Changed
Travis Harrison: drums and bass
Benji Cossa: guitar and vocals

You & I
just cossa

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