"High Time" a Grateful Dead cover for a WFMU compilation by Jeff Conklin, called "Songs to Fill the Air"
Edition of 100 C-40 cassettes
released in June 2015
by Perfect Wave
"Uncertainty and purpose strike a productive balance on Unmoored by the Wind (New Images Ltd.), the recent LP by Los Angeles-based folksinger Kayla Cohen, aka Itasca. Her songs are populated by people looking for signs—in dreams, the weather, a view out the window—who then can’t figure out how to respond once one presents itself. But though the lyrics remain cryptic, there’s no vagueness in Cohen’s playing: her latest release, Ann’s Tradition (Perfect Wave), is an all-instrumental cassette that brings to mind Robbie Basho in a reflective mood. Cohen’s propulsive fingerpicking conveys the passage of time, which so often overtakes the characters in her songs, and her accomplished playing sounds even better when accompanied by her low-pitched singing."
- Bill Meyer, Chicago Reader
"Unmoored by the Wind"
release date: October 14, 2014
on New Images Ltd - click there to purchase
"On this album her work can be classified as a much more straightforward form of homespun folk. Cohen’s delicate and expert fingerpicking places her work somewhere in the area of American Primitive, a genre that can always stand to benefit from additional female performers. But on Unmoored by the Wind, her vocals are an even bigger draw. She has a voice that is at once striking and vaguely familiar, the type of voice that will send folk-nerds to rack their memories to decide which other obscure or semi-obscure singer she most resembles. (I’m going with Bridget St. John and/or Sibylle Baier for now.)
This feeling that we, as listeners, have been granted access into Itasca’s private inner sanctum is what helps give Unmoored by the Wind its quiet gravity, and her ample instrumental skills and deft songcraft make this invitation well worth your while."
"Grace Riders on the Road"
full-length CD/cassette, 10 tracks
release date: October 12, 2012
edition of 300 cds and 50 cassettes.
"Gorgeous privately released acid folk reverie from the solo project of Kayla Cohen in a hand-numbered edition of 300 copies, mastered by Sean McCann: this is a heady slice of lysergic ladies of the canyon, with the feel of tropical microdots that dominated the These Trails and Linda Perhacs sides given a slightly more baroque dream-time feel. Kayla sings in a blasted, lonesome style that is somewhere between Kendra Smith, Judee Sill, Christina Carter and Collie Ryan and her music is thick with atmosphere and mystery. Some of the guitar stylings have the kind of courtly appeal of Current 93 circa Of Ruine Or Some Blazing Starre but when she gets into more complex vortices of steel strings she comes over like Robbie Basho circa Basho Sings, power-crying into the void with the kind of lost, lamenting style that has caused many a heart to quiver. This one came out of nowhere and knocked us sideways. Recommended."
-David Keenan, Volcanic Tongue
C-40 Cassette EP, 6 tracks
released on April 9, 2013
released on Sloow Tapes
edition of 80 cassettes
Available at tomentosa and through me in the US, and from Volcanic Tongue and the label in Europe.
Great new set of haunting acid folk from Kayla Cohen aka Itasca: we were all pretty much blown away by Kayla’s CD-R debut that we stocked at VT and this is another mesmerising set of acoustic guitar and vocal reveries, with great overdubbed backing vox and an atmosphere to compare to Linda Perhacs or These Trails. Her vocals are fantastic, a moody/high-flying hybrid of Judee Sill and Kendra Smith and her guitar work is just as dazzling, combing the kind of homeblown string work of the early Six Organs recordings with a flowing, arpeggiated style that is pure Stone Angel. Edition of 80 copies."
-David Keenan, Volcanic Tongue
Past cassette releases as Sultan, all are out of print
Released December 15, 2011
Courting the Astral Traveling Band
Released November 1, 2011
Released September 1, 2011
Released October 5, 2010 on The Curatorial Club