Robert Coyne's three albums with Can's legendary drummer Jaki Liebezeit - The Obscure Department (2013), Golden Arc (2014) and I Still Have This Dream (2016) - combine cyclical acoustic guitar and drums with Coyne's melancholic lyrics and melodies; a stark but rich sound described by one reviewer as 'a mixture of Krautrock repetition and pastoral English psychedelia.' Solo albums Death Is Not My Destiny (2007) and Last Lion (2016) reflect influences ranging from '50's Rock and Roll and Doo-Wop to '70's Hard Rock and Electronic music, while Woodland Conspiracy is an intimate, darkly humorous acoustic LP.
Out Of Your Tree (2018), Coyne's first album following Jaki Liebezeit's passing in 2017, was both a continuation and a conscious departure from their work together, with flashes of lead guitar, keyboards and bass - often coloured with tape echo and reverb - added to the still sparse instrumentation.
Four years later, Robert Coyne returns this autumn with a new album, The Hiss Of Life (2022).
Fittingly, the title song is a meditation on the stubbornness of the human spirit, while others - 'Curse Of The Cat People', 'In The Grip Of The Strangler' - describe the struggle and need for self- acceptance, and to heal old wounds.
The sound of the album is direct and intimate, with Coyne's restrained guitar and voice again paired with Werner Steinhauser's detailed but sensitive drumming.
Long-term collaborator Aglaja Camphausen's beautiful cello is strongly featured, along with the warm harmony singing of Wendy Coyne, and Bob Ward - the co-writer and guitarist on several of Robert's father Kevin's greatest albums - adds his inimitable guitar to two songs.
The son of singer, musician, artist and author Kevin Coyne, and a musician himself from the age of 14, Robert has played with the Scientists, Silver Chapter, Venus Ray, The Barracudas, Amy Rigby, Eric Burdon, Sky Saxon, Jon Langford and Chris Wilson, among many others. His solo work also includes a film soundtrack to the Edinburgh-festival-winning 'The Great Happiness Space' in 2006, the Soft Tread Of The Future EP on Marty Thau's revived Red Star label in 2012, and two songs for Karl Bruckmaier's 2015 radio production of Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shand.
Wikipedia page here.
Photos ©Meyer Originals or Wendy Coyne unless otherwise noted.
The Liebezeit Trilogy, vinyl only box set collecting the 3 LPs recorded with Jaki Liebezeit, out November 2020 on Meyer Records.
The music's principal strength is that it stems from an apparently unlikely alliance of two musicians both exploring outside their usual remit... this was an unusual yet potent relationship. - Mike Barnes, The Wire
See full review here..