A welcome sighting in the latest issue of Prog Magazine: a feature on the debut effort from Three Colours Dark, a collaboration between vocalist Rachel Cohen (Karnataka, The Reasoning) and keyboardist/guitarist Jonathan Edwards (Karnataka, Panic Room).
Back in the heady early days of Prog, the magazine tapped both Panic Room and The Reasoning as hot new bands with fresh ideas and the potential for broader appeal. While both groups had talent aplenty and made consistently solid albums, the big breakouts never quite came to pass; The Reasoning dissolved in 2014, while Panic Room seems in limbo following their live effort Screens. And while PR’s leader Anne-Marie Helder still pops up on occasion, The Reasoning’s Rachel Cohen pursued a fruitful new career in academic mental health research. Thankfully, Cohen recently re-connected with Edwards, who proved ready and willing to collaborate on new music; Three Colours Dark is the welcome result.
On first listen, The Science of Goodbye proves elegant, introspective and strangely irresistible, with a brooding power to the music and a darkly compelling lyrical vision to match. Edwards’ lush, primarily acoustic soundscapes enfold subtle hints of unease, spacious enough to be warmly inviting, but suffused with enough fear and melancholy to disconcert. They’re perfect settings for Cohen’s brave, quietly harrowing narratives of pain, bewilderment, and self-doubt. Abetted by multi-instrumentalist Tim Cahill and stunning guest shots from — among others — blues guitarist Chantal McGregor, trumpeter Nathan Bray, and XTC/Big Big Train legend Dave Gregory (on a marvelous cover of Richard Thompson’s “Ghosts in the Wind”), you’re sucked into a tight, almost suffocating place — and you wonder how you’ll make it out.
Which is what makes the album’s last two tracks — as Cohen’s protagonist names, then frees herself from her nemesis in the heavy, throbbing “Monster,” then strikes out for open country in the soaring title track — deeply, delightfully cathartic. From its claustrophobic onset to its inspiring end, The Science of Goodbye rings true as both testimony and art; spying the “crack in everything” Leonard Cohen sang about in “Anthem,” Three Colours Dark follows the light that gets in to a new day. A great listen from a great new duo, well worth your time and your cash.
— Rick Krueger