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Big City Cough

Big City Cough - Born at Night

Born at Night
(independent) - 2017

Michael Panontin
"Why wait? Just do."

That Nike-esque assertion is how Sean Beresford described the raw bedroom quality of Born at Night, his first solo set as Big City Cough. The Toronto-based musician, who by his own admission has spent the bulk of his career as "somebody else's guitar player", recorded Born at Night on "an acoustic guitar that is now pretty much unplayable, mostly in living rooms in Toronto with a super-basic mobile studio setup and a few half-decent mics". Beresford takes pains to emphasize the record's rougher-hewn origins, even going so far as to point out his laptop fan bleeding into the recording, something he half-flippantly refers to as "modern tape hiss".

But actually the six (mostly) instrumental tracks hold up pretty well. It's an oddly incongruous mix of rustic acoustic guitar and ambient electronics (Fahey meets Eno is the one-sheet's pithy description of it). Less adventurous sorts may want to steer clear of the more jarring bits - the six-minute 'Moon Corner' is like chilling to A Prairie Home Companion one minute and then trekking across the moon to Eno's Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks the next. For the most part, though, when Beresford tones down the weirdness and lets his finger-picking loose, as on the fetching opener 'Before This There Was Everything', Born at Night makes for a rather compelling listen.

(Born at Night was pressed up in a limited run of just 300 copies on 140-gram vinyl.)


     Big City Cough

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