The unique pull of music is the transcendental experience of tuning into the roots of others. For those interested in surrender to folk that grooves along to infectious poetry, Cordovas are here with latest release Destiny Hotel. Written primarily at established Nashvillian Joe Firstman’s Mexican home base getaway in Todos Santos, then recorded in Los Angeles in a race against 2020 lockdowns, the rush encouraged the band to discard anything within the words they regarded as insignificant. What’s left behind is heartfelt and refined down to only the meaningful. “We wanted to strike the term ‘want’ from our music – to get rid of all the ‘Baby, baby, baby, I want this, I want that,’ and create something more useful,” says Firstman. “We needed to make sure these were songs we’d be proud to sing forever.”
These songs, produced Rick Parker (Lord Huron, Beck, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club), lean heavily on harmonies, the spirituality of Eckhard Tolle, and the apparent closeness of men who could be mistaken for family. Destiny Hotel opens with the single “High Feeling,” a simple and powerful call to let love in wherever you are that’s without pretense. “That’s us telling you directly what to do, and hopefully in a way that’s more like Bob Marley than some New Age guy who thinks he’s saving the world because he’s so in tune,” Firstman points out.
Warmth permeates throughout the record as equally in moments of Rock, like within the song “The Game,” as in the more delicate “Afraid No More,” a wise declaration to live free of fear. “In every single way, lack of awareness comes down to fear,” says Firstman. “All drugs are fear, and if we’re a worthwhile collective, then we should be helping each other instead of letting each other deteriorate. It’s a song that we sing to ourselves, because we’re all here to a grand party together.”
Party together we shall as “High Feeling” spins freely on WRLT, KTAO, and KRVM, and second single “Rain on the Rail” has also found a home at WRLT as well as on WUIN and WNRN with more on the way.
Photo by J. Ross Smith