Artist of the Week: Lloyd Cole

When anyone asks me who’s my favorite artist, the answer is always Lloyd Cole. I was in high school when he fronted the Commotions, turning out indie hits like Perfect Skin that paired smart, irony-laced writing with catchy tunes. And he was cute. I was smitten. In the 90s, when I was still a giggly twenty-something fangirl, I was lucky enough to see him at the (old) 9:30 Club in D.C. and meet him after the show. I still treasure the ticket stub he signed that night “love Emma.” Swoon. I saw him again just a few years ago — many years and solo albums later — at Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, where he signed another scrap of paper that my best friend and I split. My half says “Emma! Yours Always.” And yeah, I swooned again.

So, all that to paint a picture of how excited I am that he’s just released his 15th solo album, Guesswork. Over the years, he’s done a lot that’s more on the experimental end of the spectrum and been dropped by more than one label as a result. I like that he’s not afraid to do his own thing. This album has a much more electronic feel than is typical for most of his music, but his voice and lyrics have the same old mix of cynicism and softness that drew me in thirty-some years ago. I always look forward to hearing what he’ll do next — and getting my next autograph.

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