Hollie Cook's 2018 album on Merge Records, Vessel of Love, is a breezy, buoyant bouquet of dub flowers that will not allow a single cloud to obscure its eternal-sunshine-of-the-carefree-mind gestalt. It is not hyperbole to say we absolutely need records of this kind for optimal mental health in the current political climate. Our neurons occasionally require gentle romancing, and Ms. Cook—who played keyboards and sang in the last incarnation of the Slits and is the daughter of Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook and Culture Club backing vocalist Jeni Cook—possesses the creamy pipes and innate grasp of bubbly rhythmic pulse to induce calm and lucidity in even the most fraught circumstances.
"Survive" is my go-to jam from Vessel of Love. I don't really go to the beach much, but I appreciate the hell out of music that evokes that environment's worry-evaporating properties, and the tranquil skank of "Survive" unfurls a ravishing wave of serene, tropical vibes that are positively therapeutic. Famed producer Youth provides crucial slide-guitar sighs and James Mckone's indolently strutting bass murmurs really bump up your morale. And, of course, Cook's voice is sheerest, warmest delight. This song is pleasure beyond (t)reason.
Hollie Cook performs at Nectar Lounge on Saturday, July 21.