It’s rare to receive a song with instructions for listening, but Gabriella Cohen is an artist that’s always done things her own way.
So, before listening to “Dream Woman” below, pay close attention to the following instructions: “assuming you have a convertible, go for a drive, with the top down”; failing that, “rollerblade down the avenue with your cat on the leash,” then “eat your ice cream on a rollercoaster.”
These are not reckless directives, certainly not the first part. To listen to Cohen’s breezy new single is to imagine yourself driving down the Queensland coast, shielding your eyes from the blaring sun, your wandering thoughts returning to the “dream woman” you just can’t seem to stop thinking about.
The atmosphere on “Dream Woman” is essential to its charms. Cohen gleefully conjures memories of ’90s Beck – not melancholic Beck but his bright goofball persona – on the indie-pop gem. The song is joyous and playful, a summer balm for winter times.
“Dream Woman” sees Cohen working once again with Ball Park Music‘s Sam Cromack (the pair notably collaborated on the bouncing anthem “I Just Got So High), who fine-tuned the song after Cohen initially conceived it in a water tank studio deep in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.
Cohen has been on Rolling Stone AU/NZ‘s radar for a while now. Back in 2016, she was included in ‘Future Is Now’, a profile of five artists expected to do big things.
“I love Velvets, I love Lou Reed, and I bloody love doo-wop. I grew up listening to a lot of Brazilian bossa nova, Paul Simon’s Graceland, the Beatles. I think, what the audience thinks my style is, that’s what the style is,” Cohen told us about her style at the time, and her artistic sensibilities have always been cutely out-of-step, a little anomalous and anachronistic.
With its hippy-adjacent acoustic flourishes and repeated chants of “free woman”, Cohen’s latest continues her commitment to making timeless music on her terms, current trends so far away in her rearview mirror as to be barely visible.
To celebrate her new single, Cohen will be launching “Dream Woman” at Melbourne’s Gasometer Hotel this Thursday, June 15th. Entry is free, which limits your excuses for not going to see one of this country’s purest singer-songwriters perform live.
Gabriella Cohen’s “Dream Woman” is out Wednesday, June 14th.