The Cordials

March 5, 2013 |

Left to right: Laura Kepner-Adney, Winston Watson, Courtney Robbins, Cristina Williams. photo by Rocky Yosek

The Cordials
Not Like Yesterday
(Prophette Records)

A conglomeration of genres defines the 10-track debut album from Tucson power-pop super quartet The Cordials. From punk frivolity and dreamy yet blistering lose-yourself-in-the-driving-chords songs to bittersweet Americana anthems, “Not Like Yesterday” is a heterogeneous music mix of the highest take-no-prisoners quality.

The line-up includes Laura Kepner-Adney (Silver Thread Trio), Courtney Robbins (Seashell Radio), Cristina Williams (The Modeens), and Winston Watson (Greyhound Soul, Talk to Strangers). The divergence of the members’ projects, married with the seemingly ingrained talent of the artists, creates something seriously special. It is a group more than the sum of its parts with a repertoire unique in this town.

In theory, a Tucson super group cranking killer tunes should be easy to come by. This city has seen more cross-pollination of musicians swapped for different projects over the decades than broken windows in Chelyabinsk, Russia from last month’s meteorite hit. Unlike the crashing cacophony of Chelyabinsk’s exploding glass, members of The Cordials blow it up extraordinarily well.

The band began in mid-2011, when Silver Thread Trio vocalist/musician and self-described “opera school (Oberlin Conservatory) drop-out” Laura Kepner-Adney said to herself: ‘I’m going to write a 2-chord song, and I’m not going to worry about form or depth of lyric or harmony, I’m just going to write it.’

“I had been playing in ST3 (Silver Thread Trio) for so long, working on delicate and carefully crafted songs…  It was kind of a revelation, and I wrote four songs in four days that way. I guess I just needed an outlet for something that could be spontaneous and sloppy and loud and a little reckless.”

Loud and spontaneous, yes! Sloppy and reckless, don’t think so. They are too good. Even live, if there is a slight misstep, their ability to musically dance around it is super tight. Plus, there really isn’t anything cooler than sexy rocker chicks harmonizing akin to the Sirens of Greek mythology, with an edge of course. Three-part harmonies are not easy to come by, but these ladies toss it off.

“We’re all longtime singers,” Kepner-Adney explains, “and the harmonies all just come naturally.”

Williams recalls working on the song “Roses Burn Blue” with the other gals, saying “Laura and Courtney are especially amazing vocal arrangers and it was exciting to hammer out intricate harmonies like that.”

Beyond the gorgeous vocals, the instrumental interactions also come together seamlessly: Williams commands the bass lines, Kepner-Adney and Robbins take turns on lead electric guitar while Watson drives the drums.

The band churns interesting, exhilarating, exciting music – befitting the name as, according to, cordial as a noun is not just that sweet, aromatic liqueur but also a stimulating medicine, anything that invigorates or stimulates.

This band is auditory ambrosia. Definitely check out the March 9 CD release party and pick up the disk.

The album, recorded at Wavelab, not only features slick graphic design by Ryan Trayte, but guest appearances by Marco Rosano and Fen Ikner. Ikner also mixed and master the tunes, and will be on drums at the release show as Watson will be on tour with St. Maybe.

Find out more at: and  The Whistle Stop Depot, 127 W. 5th St., hosts the album release on Sat., March 9 at 11pm. The $5 admission also includes performances by Boreas (9pm), Andrew Collberg Band (10pm).

Category: MUSIC