Gods of Synth Rock: Cobress is the Band You Should Be Listening to Right NowSep 07, 2021 05:00PM ● By DAVID ACEVEDO
It was one of those Friday nights when all I needed was loud and rebellious live music. Lucky me, Cobress was playing at an extremely popular venue in Fort Myers that night. I was not disappointed. In fact, I was mesmerized and inspired. Lights, glam, sound and creativity—the recipe for a real rock concert.
Cobress was founded in late 2017, when lead singer and bassist Colin Orion and other musicians were backing up Frankie Colt’s solo project for an EP release. Colt, now Frankie Orion, was enjoying great popularity on the local scene—a natural at enchanting audiences with her alto vocals and self-designed glitzy garments. Later that year, Colin and Frankie decided to start a new project and name it Cobress. Local synth master and recording artist Xid was recruited in 2018, and Cobress was officially born.
Frankie and Colin married in February 2017. Their love for music and performance bonded their spirits. “Frankie and I met on a stage, and I first asked her out on a stage. Later, I proposed to her on a stage, and we’ve lived a great deal of our lives on stages ever since,” says Colin, who is also an accomplished tattoo artist. “It only made sense, and was really a matter of time before we would start a band together.” The couple not only performs together, but also writes many of the band’s songs.
On that Friday night when I saw Cobress perform, I was witness to their stage chemistry as was everyone else in that audience. Their sound is refined and loud, melodic and thunderous at the same time. Songs such as “Ritual” and “Superblood Wolfmoon” from the 2019 Neon Royale, Chapter One: Fire define the band as a poetic, ethereal, hard-rock sound machine—hungry to expose their very unapologetically lyrical souls to the world. “I think of it like a futuristic dance rock we’ve been playfully calling “witchwave,” says Frankie. “Yeah, I always describe it as dark, sexy, electronic rock,” adds Colin, who acknowledges the addition of Xid as yet another influential aspect for the band’s sound.
Frankie explains that the writing process for each song is different. “Sometimes I make songs with a music app and then I send it to Xid to produce, or Xid will have a song structured needing lyrics or melody,” she says. Their writing styles are quite different, making each song uniquely Cobress, adds Frankie.
Like many other performers, Cobress has experienced setbacks, especially during the pandemic months. “It is still hard not being able to perform and connect with our audience the way we do best,” says Frankie, who turned to the virtual world to stay in touch with her fans. Resiliently, the band managed to finish and release their album Neon Royale, Chapter Four: Air in 2020. “We were doing shows and gaining momentum, then suddenly nothing,” says Xid, who had a hard time adjusting to the virtual-only world. “We didn’t see each other in person for half a year, having to finish the album by writing together over Zoom. It was bizarre,” adds the songwriter.
“As of right now, we are rehearsing and preparing for a long-awaited return to live shows this summer!” adds Frankie with a sparkle in her eye.
In songs such as “The Void,” an enigmatic ballad with powerful vocals and alluring lyrics, the band exemplifies the power of good songwriting. Remember when you played a song over and over, because you could not get enough of it? Exactly like that. The members of the band attribute this successful writing to the magic of their friendship and love for their craft. “There’s a special kind of magic when you get lost in playing music, especially when you find the right people to play with,” says Frankie, who considers music as a healer.
“I try to be as full spectrum as I can, and [with] music the auditory representation of that, I just can’t see what I’d ever do without it,” adds Colin.
Angela Page, creator of the Love Your Rebellion zine and nonprofit and a fellow musician, shared the stage with Cobress more than once. “Cobress is one of the most innovative bands in Southwest Florida. Their unique sound combines elements you cannot find anywhere else in the area,” says Page, former singer with the Young Dead band.
Cobress is here to stay. Fans like me cannot wait to see them on stage again. Find out more at Cobress.com.
David Acevedo is an award-winning visual artist and arts writer living in Southwest Florida. He is the founder and owner of DAAS CO-OP Art Gallery & Gifts and the Union Artist Studios. He has a bachelor’s degree in visual arts from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus.