REVIEW: Gabriella Cohen - Full Closure and No Details

Kelly Kirwan

Gabriella Cohen is an artist who nails the eye-rolling, apathetic-on-the-surface drawl that one of her influences (Lou Reed) delivered all too well. The Australian native has nestled into the genre of garage rock with a lethargic sort of strut, singing along to discordant, guitar-heavy melodies, and flipping between vulnerability and defiance with ease. For an album that's titled Full Closure and No Details, it seems quite rooted in personal material. Cohen is laying her feelings bare against a grungy and reverberating backdrop, and yet delivering it all with tongue firmly in cheek. She may not be naming names and using her latest piece of work as a personal tabloid tell-all, but she is giving us some confessions that resonate with anyone who's been lonely or eager to move on.

Pairing up with her right-hand woman, Kate Dillon, Full Closure and No Details came together in Cohen's family abode in the countryside. A reviewer for The 405 noted during an interview that there seemed to be "very little stress in Gabriella Cohen's bubble, and an overwhelming desire to be happy." It's an observation that complements her music, which seems deeply focused on being real. Cohen isn't about plastering a smile on her face or wallowing. She flows with whatever she's feeling, making her a bad-ass chick worth tuning into.

The song "Downtown" opens with her raw, high-headed pitch, along with a soft, feminine ooh floating in the background, reminiscent of soulful ballads that add a shimmering thread to this grittier genre (“Well I could only forgive you / And tell you I need you … Well I don’t know quite what were you thinkin’ / When you slipped into the stinkin’ hell you brought down on me”). It has a lazily teetering pace, with the weight of lovesickness punctuated by forceful guitars and the occasional off-kilter pitch.

"Sever the Walls" has a livelier pace, its melody introducing a glimmer of surf rock over Cohen’s even-keeled timbre. There’s a stray bluesy guitar riff towards the song's end, while a chorus builds. Eventually the riff skids off the tracks, leaving us with a fading reverb as the vocals cut out entirely. It falls more into the realm of grunge-pop, with shades of psychedelia, as Cohen sings, “Sever the walls with your broken heart / Cut all your ties go back to the start / Close up your eyes and think to a time it was better.” It’s a matter-of-fact delivery, a calm set of instructions for anyone looking for that push to move forward.

At its core, this album is a collection of Cohen's thoughts and feelings looped over a glimmering, grungy backdrop. And what's more interesting or relatable than that?