Creating These Years on the Boat wasn’t exactly smooth sailing, but after almost two years, local New Paltz band Fairweather Friends released their first full-length album.
On board are three musicians: Adir Cohen (vocals, guitar, harmonica, piano, bass), Jed Kosiner (drums, percussion, vocals) and Geoff Diamond (bass). Fairweather Friends celebrated their album debut Saturday, Feb. 4 at Bacchus Restaurant where they performed and sold copies of the new release.
“Honestly, the entire process of making this album was worlds more complex than I had ever expected,” Cohen said. “Nonetheless, it was one of the most liberating experiences during which I learned a great deal about myself, music and the overall recording process. Friends of mine went to tremendous lengths to help us complete this record and I was amazed at the level of excitement and energy other people were able to share with us.”
The album title, These Years on the Boat, represents the time period in Cohen’s life when he was writing songs in the comfort of school and parental support. Some of the songs were written during Cohen’s high school career and others were written while he was a student at SUNY New Paltz.
The band, who recently welcomed Geoff Diamond, began collaborating two years ago. Cohen said they initially did not intend to become a permanent entity. He planned on recording a few of his songs with Kosiner’s accompaniment, but when the two started working together, as Kosiner described, “something just clicked.”
They changed their name from Adir L.C. and the Fairweather Friend to Fairweather Friends, which Cohen said gave their songs a more revitalized tone. Though Cohen and Kosiner have very different musical backgrounds, they admit it has brought a new and interesting feel to their songs.
“Adir comes from an indie, alternative rock background and I come from more of a jazz/Brazilian background,” Kosiner said. “We come from very different musical influences, which I think makes for some very interesting sounds.”
The band began the recording process unconventionally. Songs were recorded over and over, and sometimes months were spent on music that didn’t make it onto the album. They worked with several producers, went on tour promoting demos and even traveled abroad for some time before completing the project.
Cohen took a break in Europe and Israel, but when he returned, he and Kosiner began working with Christopher Daly of Salvation Recording Co. and the team, as well as the band, buckled down to complete the album.
“We started working on it full force with final mixing, promotion and album art,” Cohen said. “It was so amazing having such a great team helping us and believing in this project. Now the album is worlds beyond what I ever thought it could be in terms of quality, structure and most importantly a revived powerful energy.”
Although These Years on the Boat took a while to complete, the members of the band said they wouldn’t have preferred it any other way. The album wouldn’t be the same if it were a hurried project, the band members said.
“There have been over 10 estimated release dates, all of which were pushed back,” Cohen said. “However, it was perfect, and rushing it would have made it something else all together, something less special.”
The album will be sold on iTunes and CD Baby, as well as in local record stores such as Rhino Records and Jack’s Rhythms. The band can be found on Facebook or at FairweatherFriendsBand.com.