With their lush melodic arrangements and the sparring boy/girl vocals of Fin Divilly and
Freya Monks, Cocophone are a group that have cheekily flirted with Irish audiences for
years. Ahead of the release of their much anticipated debut album they look set to make the
step up. But, as the Beat discovers, it has been a long road.
Cocophone first started around seven years ago, following a house party in Freya’s at which
Fin absconded with her copy of Siamese Dream by the Smashing Pumpkins. After returning
the CD to her, Divilly invited the violinist to jam with him and his friends. In the time since
their writing partnership has flourished and Cocophone have been touted as ones to watch on
the Irish music scene.
But frequent line up changes meant it would be a long time before the fruits of their work
would be available to a wider audience.
“It was like we were approaching a bus stop. Before for years we had always talked about
recording an album and we had never gotten around to doing it. It was a continual thing every
year of gigging and doing home recordings. We were always trucking along and when we
decided to do this album and had set the date and had people playing with us, it was suddenly
like we could see a point we were going to reach that we didn’t know what was going to
happen after” Fin says.
It wasn’t until they had gotten into the studio that Cocophone’s line-up was solidified, with
the introduction of multi-instrumentalist Shane on drums and percussion and sound engineer
Scott on keys and guitar. These additions injected new life to the bands sound.
There was a resurge of energy as well with some of the songs that were years old. Suddenly
you’ve become more interested in songs that you’ve taken for granted again”.
On their debut album Reservoir, Cocophone’s music often deals with thoughts of introversion
and isolation. Their lyrics are thoughtful, at times striking and often literary. Musically
there’s a notable ear for melody and some stunning vocal work from the talented Monks.
But Divilly feels they has evolved past the duo’s writing dynamic, that formed the basis of so
much of their early work, into a fully fledged band.
“We brought a lot of emotional baggage to the album, myself and Freya. We hadn’t decided
after the album, what was going to happen. A band mightn’t have happened as it was there.
So everyday you want to embrace everybody’s opinion and take it all on.
“What I love when I listen back to the album is all that new influence. But it was hard to
accept, because you bring so much baggage to it that it’s like your baby. It can be hard to let
go. But we did that, and the result is that a band has come out of it. We’ve grown closer and
now the material is coming from all five of us and that’s the way I want it to be”.