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    C'mon baby, let's do the Tryst

    Tryst takes its witty and yet sentimental pop sound on the road to Europe, but not before a farewell gig for its New York fans.


    Music lovers on the prowl should get to know Tryst, a band whose music reveals a secret rendezvous of witty and sentimental pop, before they leave town. After the band's next round of downtown gigs in New York — catch the first at Arlene Grocery this Thursday — it's off to Europe and gay Paris, for a year of touring, remixing and promotion. Armed with a batch of new tunes and a solid list of crowd favorites, trust Tryst to deliver a solid set list that stands out in the crowded downtown lineups we've all come to love. A foursome whose recipe consists of freshly intelligent, narrative lyrics sung over solid, infectious pop tunes punctuated by a deliciously sweet hand at guitar, Tryst has a beguiling sound that makes you feel a part of the secret love.

    Tim Cohan
    Ellen Highstone
    Sam McIlvain
    Elisa Chiusano.

    Related links: Official site
    Available from

     Kids of Big Stars
    According to songwriter Tim Cohan, "Starting a band is a lot like having an affair. It's risky and illicit; you wear tight clothes and hang out in bars." What may have started as a small affair has developed into an ambitious musical team with the chops to back it up. Cohan pens songs that begin with a small set of vivid images and a quickly defined melody, allowing Tryst's songs to unfold into a well-built, dynamic framework of guitar, rhythm, vocal harmony and a catchy chorus for window dressing. In one of their earliest singles, "Spain," a mental road trip for the bored soul, Cohan's intro lays it all out: "We'll get out of this lonely town, down across the plains / I know it's Minnesota, but it feels like Spain."

    As the songs continue, like an old friend sitting in the couch seat next to you, a guitar solo by Sam McIlvain will step out into the spotlight to give a quick sonic rubdown, and then melt back into the furniture. Tim Cohan's strong lead vocals find just the right balance of lounge-inspired irony and excited storyteller jive to seduce listeners into tunes like the jazz-infused show-stopper "Snake and Monkey." In two new and noteworthy hard-driving numbers, "Kids of Big Stars" and "Heavy and Wide," Cohan's vocals also reveal an emerging bite. Ellen Highstone's supporting vocals have a certain nonchalance (think Astrud Gilberto as a long-legged rockstar) when creating harmonies in songs like "Boy Thing" (where her vocals are featured) and "Spain" that surround the listener in a sexy aural perfume wafting up from the periphery. The resulting sound bounces, swivels and tangos around the room while toes tap and heads bob along with Elisa Chiusano's steady drumbeats.

    Tryst began as an acoustic trio across the pond in France when Highstone and Cohan began playing gigs in coffeehouses and cabaret nightclubs with lead guitarist McIlvain. Chiusano, a hard-hitting drummer from Philly, is the most recent addition to the outfit. This Thursday's Arlene Grocery gig will be their first full-length set featuring songs from the new album, tentatively titled "The Road to Fontainebleau," a follow-up to the intriguing self-titled CD affectionately known as "The Northern Pimp" (check out the cover photo). Like their strong following at the C-Note, new fans looking for more than the pop equivalent of a quickie in the bathroom will enjoy their first Tryst and want to come back for more.

    MAY 15, 2001

    Reader comments on Tryst:

  • the worlds great minds think alike   from ryan, Jan 28, 2003
  • tryst cd   from joe romby, Sep 13, 2008

  • Post a comment on "Tryst"