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Line & Circle

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Line & Circle was born of the collaboration between Brian J. Cohen & Brian Egan, friends and bandmates who met at college in the Midwest. Cohen was from Akron, Ohio, pre-med and...

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Line & Circle was born of the collaboration between Brian J. Cohen & Brian Egan, friends and bandmates who met at college in the Midwest. Cohen was from Akron, Ohio, pre-med and penny-loafered and overtly Anglophilic. Egan was the quiet guy down the hall, the classically trained pianist, born and raised in Dayton, with Guided by Voices playing through his ever-shut door.

So…two guys named Brian from the Midwest.

But also, lines and circles are the elements of, well, everything. The shapes that formed the essence of the very first cave paintings. The forms that make up every letter of every alphabet in every language. And now, the ones and zeros that make up binary code. An entire history of communication, stripped back to its essence, leads to these two simple shapes.

Yes, everything. For as long as we’ve been here.

The two Brians moved to California. Their lives were binary now too, divided into before and after. Before was the place they came from–––Ohio, with its blue-collar spirit, familiar apple-cheeked faces, and long cold winters–––and after was the place they went to–––Los Angeles, with its jammed freeways and long-haired girls and relentlessly good weather.

They had no choice but to buy sunglasses and write songs.

Their new material was leaner than their previous collaborations, and yet somehow bigger. Less trees, more sky. Their early demos caught the ear of White Iris’ Lewis Pesacov, who previously produced debut albums for Best Coast and Nikki Lane. They took to the studio, along with a newly formed band, including guitarist Eric Neujahr, bassist Nathan Gammill and drummer Nick Cisik. There, with nods to early 4AD dream pop and chiming I.R.S. Records-era guitar rock, the group pared the songs to their essence–––there’s that word again–––simple melodic phrases and hooky ostinatos that subvert the complications of the lyrics. The result is this first release, a 7” on White Iris Records. Recorded live, Roman Ruins (side A) and Carelessness (side B) are soaring and dark and glittering and nostalgic, like the soundtrack to an epic coming-of-age story.

So, two songs. Two guys named Brian. Two shapes. Ohio and California.

Cave paintings. Line & Circle. Everything, forever.