song premiere: "Want" and "Bait and Switch" - Cool Original
words: Michael Brooks
Over the course of the past three years, songwriter Nathan Tucker has released a handful of EPs and full lengths under the name Cool American, positioning himself as one of the most prolific voices in the Portland DIY scene. On full lengths such as 2017’s Infinite Hiatus, Cool American goes all in on guitar-centric rock, creating some of the most wonderfully distorted and frenetic music of the past few years. However, Tucker’s more eccentric side comes alive on the bands EPs, allowing him to experiment with lo-fi pop on songs like “Focus” and stripping down the music to its core.
Tucker didn’t stop at naming his band after what Cool Ranch Doritos are referred to in Europe, he also described their music as “dorito pop”, a half jokingly-half earnest tag that stuck with the band, for better or worse. But all good things must come to an end—Tucker has decided to retire the name Cool American and instead go by Cool Original, releasing a pair of new songs to coincide with the new name.
The new tracks, “Want” and “Bait and Switch”, find Tucker and company at their most easygoing and introspective, approaching power pop in an understated and familiar way. These songs feel nostalgic and timeless without making any actual references to the past, creating two of his most dewy-eyed songs yet. With shimmering acoustic guitars, airy production, and scrappy vocals at front and center, these new tracks are some of the most delicate and intimate of Tucker’s entire catalogue, and hopefully a look at what lies ahead for the project.