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“No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace
As I have seen in one autumnal face.” 
– John Donne

A week past the autumn equinox and a few hours till quittin’ time, now is an opportune moment to pause, heed the growing chorus of acclaim (see below) for Itasca‘s gorgeous record Open to Chance, and spend some time with these absorbing songs, full of grit and grace and perfect for the fold into fall.

The music of L.A.-based guitarist, singer, and songwriter Kayla Cohen is mutable and multivalent, richly allusive of the hermetic worlds of private-press canyon-cult mystics and East Coast noiseniks alike. Her adept fingerstyle guitar work—nimble but unshowy, always at the service of framing her plaintively unspooling modal progressions and gorgeous, moonlit voice—centers these melancholy pastorales in a hazy, heat-mirage space equally suggestive of familiarity and distance, community and anomie. Itasca’s enchanting, acid folk-inflected PoB debut is also the first to feature a full band.

The LP, pressed on 140g virgin vinyl, features a 24pt matte board jacket and download code. The CD edition is housed in a heavy-duty gatefold jacket. All orders from our online store now include an immediate 320k MP3 download of the entire album (visit our Bandcamp page if you prefer high-res files.)

Grip the record below, or take a walk to your nearest record shop. And catch Itasca on tour in the US, UK, and EU; dates below.


Photo by Ella Andersson.

Photo by Ella Andersson.


Simultaneously familiar and unknown, like spectral early ’70s Laurel Canyon incantations from a singer whose name and face is always just out of the reach of memory … Simultaneously spare and complex, observational folk ballads turned psychic and strange … breathing warm life into the ghostly riddles of cold watchmen and voices from the forest and releasing them out into the corporal world. – MOJO

A sprawling fascination with the natural world and the nature of people … Much of the joy comes from Cohen’s guitar and voice, two finely-tuned instruments that are uniquely adept at conveying her ideas and images. It’s the appreciation of possibility, of the paths ahead and the ones left behind, that makes Open to Chance compelling. – Pitchfork (album review)

The steady acoustic canter, the sighing slide guitar, the serenely idyllic images: It all suggests the balm of a gentle breeze beneath the bright sunlight, a feeling you’d want to capture indefinitely. Cohen does exactly that, suspending an instant in eternal amber.  – Pitchfork (“Buddy” track review)

With the early-morning, autumnal sound of her backing band, she is able to conjure up something resembling transcendence. Here’s hoping that many will soon be following in her path. – Pitchfork (“No Consequence” track review)

The mellow glow [her music] generates is reason enough to want to bask in its evanescent light for as long as life’s harsher aspects can conceivably be held at bay. – NPR Music

Gorgeous. Enchanting, mind-expanding. – Rookie

Just a lovely collection of songs, in which the serenity of voice and understatement of band create a humane intimacy … deceptively tranquil. One to file between Meg Baird and labelmates The Weather Station. – Uncut

The roots-music label Paradise of Bachelors seems incapable of releasing anything that isn’t wrenchingly beautiful. Case in point: Itasca. Fluttery, precise, pastoral folk reverie. Just exquisitely beautiful. – Stereogum

Kayla Cohen’s latest is likely to be amongst the year’s best.  – The Vinyl District

Cohen’s voice rings with unearthly clarity, but also soothes… taking the traditional and making it fresh, relevant and a little bit spooky, as it connects woods and trees and kitchen counters to a spiritual seeking that we might not have realized we had. – Dusted

Itasca has always been an arresting project, but it’s never sounded more full or more clear than on Open to Chance– Ad Hoc

Itasca brings a slice of the early 70s psych-folk feel of Laurel Canyon to her new album Open to Chance– Noisey

Highly recommended if you like: Michael Chapman, Bridget St John, Mike Cooper, Steve Gunn, Kenny Knight, Ryley Walker, Meg Baird, Jessica Pratt, Linda Perhacs, Sibylle Baier, Bert Jansch, Vashti Bunyan, Gram Parsons with Emmylou Harris, Mary Margaret O’Hara, Weyes Blood, Current 93, et al.




Los Angeles

October 13th – L.A., CA – Resident – Record Release show w/ Simon Joyner, David Nance
October 14th – L.A., CA – Daytime in-store performance at the Numero Group pop-up store (5PM)

East Coast/Midwest 

US dates with Sophie Weil, Kevin Donohue, Dave McPeters:

Tues Oct 25 – Minneapolis, MN – Coming Soon (35th and Cedar)*
Weds Oct 26 – Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle*
Thurs Oct 27 – Lafayette, IN – The Spot*
Fri Oct 28 – Indianapolis, IN – State Street Pub
Sat Oct 29 – Nashville, TN – The 5 Spot
Sun Oct 30 – Asheville, NC – The Mothlight
Mon Oct 31 – Chapel Hill, NC – Spoopy House Show (313 E Trinity Ave, Durham, NC 27701-1946)
Tues Nov 1 – Philadelphia, PA – Philadelphia Record Exchange
Weds Nov 2 – Brooklyn, NY – Union Pool
Thurs Nov 3 – Cleveland, OH – Happy Dog

*with Moon Bros

Europe, with Ryley Walker

7. November – Amsterdam, NL / Paradiso Noord
8. November – Groningen, NL / VERA
9. November – Paris, FR / Espace B
10. November – Brussels, BE / AB Club
11. November – Bruges, BE / Cactus Club
13. November – Brighton, UK / The Haunt
14. November – Manchester, UK / Ruby Lounge
15. November – Glasgow, UK / Broadcast
16. November – Birmingham, UK / Hare & Hounds
17. November – London, UK / Islington Assembly Hall
29. November – Lausanne, CH / Le Bourg
30. November – Schorndorf, DE / Manufaktur
1. December – Erlangen, DE / E-Werk
2. December – Berlin, DE / Kantine am Berghain
4. December – Oslo, NO / John Dee
5. December – Stockholm, SE / Bryggarsalen
6. December – Copenhagen, DK / Pumpehuset7. December – Hamburg, DE / Nochtspeicher

You can peruse all PoB-related tour dates here.