Music: "Your Thorn" by Cokiyu

Cokiyu - Your Thorn
Electronica / Pop

“Your Thorn” is the second full-length album released by Cokiyu, a bedroom pop artist who loves to dabble in electronic soundscapes and recreating dreamy and fuzzy scenes with her music. I sincerely enjoy everything I hear from Cokiyu, but this album in particular stands out among her discography. This is one of those albums with cover art that exactly captures the feelings the songs within elicit. Listening to this album makes me feel like I’m walking through a forest in a dream where the colors around me are surreally vivid, and the feelings of this walk are warped and obscured in ways only possible in a dream- and the album art is essentially exactly that, but in visual form. This work as a whole feels more like a journey to me, with each track progressing to a new point in that journey. I feel like listening to the tracks individually takes away from the whole product that Cokiyu is trying to present.

Your Thorn is the both the title and opening track on this album, and it introduces you to the sonic themes and feelings present throughout the rest of the work. Immediately you're embraced by warm synth chords and processed animal noises that jump around in your headspace as Cokiyu begins to sing. Her vocals are warm and seem to almost melt into the instrumentals playing behind them. The track builds as little piano melodies and other details make themselves known before drifting back down to just the synth line. The track then builds itself back up again before concluding- pulling you along the journey in waves. The following song, Recall, surrounds you in different iterations of Cokiyu’s voice, singing “Recall, recall, recall...” among twinkling percussion sounds, again pulling you along in waves.

With My Umbrella breaks from the more ambient sounds of the first two songs and is instead more playful and engaging. The instrumental is full of dancing blips and bloops and different melodies jumping around the dreamy vocals. This is where Cokiyu’s ability to evoke specific scenes with her music shines- the song is full of the sounds of flowing rivers, bird calls, and other noises you’d hear walking around a forest. It’s almost magical how you’re transported to a completely different place by the sounds alone.

Another song that does a great job in conjuring up a specific scene in your mind is Gloomy, which, surprise surprise, is one of the darker sounding tracks on the album. Actually dark isn't quite accurate because even at its darkest “Your Thorn” only sounds dim- like an overcast summer day. This song is droning and dismal, and it features frantic live drumming mixed into the soundscape- which gives a distinct feeling of chaos and latent energy, like a swirling stormcloud getting ready to release a huge crack of thunder. But just as you’re getting ready for that crack of thunder, the clouds are gone and you’re left with the sonic equivalent of the rainbow you see after it rains.

See the Sun is one of the last tracks on the album and one of my favorites. It’s a slow ambient piece that takes some time to build up and become impressive. It starts with pulsing synths and chimes winding around you, slowly building along with the twang of guitar strings before Cokiyu’s distinct vocals cut through the track, quietly singing in a way that feels like it was only meant for your ears. From there details come alive and crackle and blink in your ears. It’s a surreal sound that comes across as very intimate. It feels like Cokiyu is guiding you through this dream forest personally, and it’s an absolutely magical experience. The album closes with an ambient instrumental called Little Waves. It’s a very fitting closer in my opinion because it almost serves as a transition between the dreamlike state the album puts you in and the reality that you’ll be in once the track fades out into silence.

If it wasn’t clear at this point, I absolutely love this album. I think it’s pure magic and I really respect the talent that went into making it. Listen to this album all in one go if you have the chance!

-A. Tocco

Music ReviewsKelsey Berg