Music For Touching is the debut album from Cookies, crafted pop project by Ben Sterling. Coming out on September 9th. The album was an obsessive labor of love for the native New Yorker, five years and countless detours in the making. If you’re,Read More
If you’re searching for easy shorthand to describe Cookies’ inscrutable sound, think Caribou jamming with Charlie Wilson and The Gap Band. Influences from disco, hip hop, classic pop and modern electronic timbres mingle into a highly personal dance music. There’s a probing, experimental edge to Sterling’s writing and production, but the result is inherently populist: Music For Touching channels a universal appeal, radiating the sort of timeless melodies that chimed out of your radio as a kid.
Sterling was co-founder of the now disbanded electro-rock vanguards Mobius Band. Signed to Ghostly International, the Brooklyn trio toured the world several times over with the likes of Cut Copy, The National, Tokyo Police Club and Matthew Dear. The eventual dissolution of the band left Sterling in a new and unfamiliar position, writing and recording entirely on his own, free of compromise.
The result is Cookies. And while Music For Touching’s ten songs segue seamlessly between each other, the albums five year gestation was marked by fitful starts and stops. There were many “rip it up and start again” rewrites. Sterling and his family waded through a dizzying tangle of car crashes, parasites, and hospitalizations. A carousel of band members came and went.
Sterling got married, scored commercials, divined songs from dreams, and recruited gifted friends to his tiny Sunset Park studio. The all-star squad of guest musicians includes Colin Stetson (Arcade Fire), Aakaash Israni (Dawn of Midi), Tom Vek, Rebecca Zeller (Ra Ra Riot), the Magik Magik Orchestra, and the voices of Melissa Metrick, Areni Agbabian and Ashley Giorgi, who serve as the female counterpoint to Sterling’s baritone.