Cola Announce Second Album ‘The Gloss,’ Share Intoxicating New Single “Pallor Tricks”

“Pallor Tricks” is a punchy rush, with Ben Stidworthy’s bass counterpointing Tim Darcy’s serrated guitar over Evan Cartwright’s precise percussion | Courtesy of the artist

Canadian post-punk trio Cola—the second act of Ought’s Tim Darcy and Ben Stidworthy, who are now joined by Evan Cartwright (U.S. Girls, The Weather Station)—have announced the follow-up to their 2022 debut album Deep in View. Our latest preview of The Gloss (June 14, Fire Talk Records) is “Pallor Tricks,” the album’s third and most intense single yet.

In contrast to April 2023’s “Keys Down If You Stay” and March’s “Bitter Melon,” a pair of hypnotic, yet unhurried strummers, “Pallor Tricks” is a punchy rush, with Stidworthy’s bass counterpointing Darcy’s serrated guitar over Cartwright’s precise percussion. The track casts a sideways glance at entertainment, subtly suggesting that performers may be unworthy of the pedestals on which society tends to put them: “Low-budget light show / Dropped eyes like tears on the idol,” Darcy murmurs, finding a kind of quiet sadness in the spotlight.

“The title ‘Pallor Tricks’ is obviously a play on ‘parlor tricks,’” Darcy said of the song in a statement. “The lyrics feature imagery from film sets and such. I suppose I was thinking of the kind of self-consciousness that can arise when a camera is rolling. I’ve always been particularly affected by the performances I (rarely) see on so-called ‘reality TV.’ The type of performance where a person is compelled into a kind of ‘hyper-real’ state where they summon grotesque approximations of emotion that are exaggerated but not elevated, as they are in art. I’m sure there’s lots of compelling stuff that goes on in those programs and I don’t mean to cast aspersions, this idea of performance simply became a jumping off point when we were writing this one. The song also cycles to a more sincere open chorus, a kind of musical juxtaposition.”

Darcy added that the “Pallor Tricks” video (dir. Craig Scheihing) is “not only a brilliant piece of film, it also mirrors some of these themes by presenting an array of screens and refracted 16mm dreamscapes alongside this kind of direct connection of Evan and his girlfriend.”

Cola have a European/U.K. tour set to begin in early May, with North American dates to follow in July and October. Find their full itinerary below our Fresh Squeeze playlist and listen to “Pallor Tricks” right here.

You can hear new music from artists you won’t hear on commercial radio, including Cola, on our Music Discovery radio station, The Independent on 89.9 HD4 in jacksonville and streaming everywhere here.

The Gloss Tracklist:

1. Tracing Hallmarks

2. Pulling Quotes

3. Pallor Tricks

4. Albatross

5. Down to Size

6. Keys Down If You Stay

7. Reprise

8. Nice Try

9. Bell Wheel

10. Bitter Melon

Cola Tour Dates:

05.08 – Hanover, DE @ Cafe Glocksee

05.09 – Rotterdam, NL @ Vessell 11

05.10 – Eindhoven, NL @ Altstadt

05.11 – Luxembourg @ Out of the Crowd Festival

05.13 – Ramsgate, UK @ Ramsgate Music Hall

05.14 – Birkenhead, UK @ Future Yard

05.15 – Cardiff, UK @ Clwb Ifor Bach

05.17 – London, UK @ The George Tavern

05.18 – London, UK @ The George Tavern

07.05 – Toronto, ON @ The Garrison

07.06 –  Cleveland, OH @ Mahall’s

07.07 – Detroit, MI @ Lager House

07.08 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle

07.11 – Nashville, TN @ Third Man Records

07.12 – Atlanta, GA @ 529

07.13 –  Asheville, NC @ Eulogy

07.15 –  Washington, DC @ Songbyrd +

07.16 –  Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s +

07.17 –  New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom +

07.18 – Troy, NY @ No Fun +

07.19 –  Boston, MA @ The Rockwell +

07.20 – Montreal, QC @ Theatre Fairmount +

10.10 – San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar *

10.11 – Los Angeles, CA @ Zebulon *

10.12 – San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill *

10.14 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios *

10.16 – Vancouver, BC @ Wise Hall 

10.17 – Seattle, WA @ Madame Lou’s *

+ = w/ Mhaol 

* = w/ Mind Shrine