Local Love: Greg Cote
Greg Cote & The Real Life Friends. Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Instagram
There’s a pretty good chance that you might not know the name Greg Cote, but if you’re an artist who he’s proclaimed love for, then you’ve definitely seen him at one of your shows. Cote doesn’t perform as much as I wished he did, but he’s always been a welcomed change in the world of acoustic music. His emo-tinged sound is a thousand times better than when you see a legendary emo lead singer tour your favorite band’s tracks in a cheap solo effort. Cote is definitely the real deal and it’s never more obvious than on his latest release, this year’s HTX. Though just a five song release, the album is definitely a catchy, thoughtful love letter from one of the best unheard artists in Houston today.
Cote opens things up with the throaty, hefty weight of “Home & Abroad Pt. 1.” While Cote embodies so much of the early emocore artists, he adds heft with the emotional sound of just his voice and his acoustic guitar. In fact, the track is one that you’d have found on something by a group like Get Up Kids, though it wouldn’t have carried as far with electric guitars. The catchy, head-bopping sound of “Long Run” follows and adds a hook-heavy verse that you can’t turn away from. Once you hear the song, its stride creates a beat in a way that you just can’t forget. The most standout track of the five, “4-24-16,” comes in as the third song, and the lovey-dovey lyrics coupled with Cote’s sincere vocals make the song one that you’ll hum along to. There’s something memorable and endearing about how Cote strums along while he professes adoration for whoever the song is about.
He follows up with the longest track on the album, the almost anthemic structure of “Quarter Century.” Though the song is not on the same speed of most anthems, the sing-song backing vocals of the track make it one of those tunes you’d find yourself joining in on if it were played live in front of you. Cote echoes the likes of Evan Weiss of Into It. Over It. on this track and showcases his strengths as a songwriter. He closes off the album with the laid-back sounds of “Squish.” Another standout track, the song gets additional backing vocals that immediately cause it to noodle around in your head until well after it reaches its end. The additional hand claps as percussion make the song more enjoyable and give you an almost communal feeling as it plays aloud.
The only downfall to the album is that it ends a little too quickly, as I found myself wanting to hear more from Cote. Nonetheless, the songs within are definitely away from the herd without sounding foreign. As mentioned, Greg Cote & The Real Life Friends rarely play live, so keep your eyes peeled and pick up the cassette version of this album, available exclusively at Deep End Records.