Track by Track: Cola - Deep in View

Track by Track: Cola – Deep in View

Deep in View is the debut album from Cola, a band formed after Canadian post-punks Ought decided to call it a day in 2021. Former members Tim Darcy (guitar/vocals) and Ben Stidworthy (bass) started writing with USA Girls/The Weather Station drummer Evan Cartwright in 2019, who they had frequently encountered on the road over the years. It wasn’t however, intended to be a post Ought project, but the band’s chemistry and abundance of ideas meant they were quick to get an album together.

The nucleus of Deep in View took shape during the first wave of the Covid pandemic. Like many, the band were forced to decamp and write songs separately, remotely adding to the tracks by sending them to each other. Working in solitude ended up becoming a “defining color as well as a barrier” to the album, says Darcy.

The resulting record has gained plenty of critical acclaim since its release in May via Fire Talk Records, with many hailing it as a contender for album of the year. To coincide with the release of Deep in View on vinyl, the band talk us through the album track by track:

Blank Curtain:

TIM: I worked on many versions of the vocal part on top of the instrumental Ben sent in this case. In the end, I even recorded them again after the initial sessions had been fully mixed to try and capture more of the energy the song had when we played it live together. To me this track is deceptive: the bass and drum groove is so hypnotic and clean but then the guitars create these rough edges and when we would play it in a room we leaned into that more. Lyrically, it’s a song about feeling stuck in a life-narrative sense. The drone-like quality of the guitar part Ben wrote really speaks to this feeling. We felt the song needed another element while we were in the studio and Evan came through with this incredible winding riff that locked everything into place.

So Excited:

TIM: We would talk about this track as the ‘capstone’ of the Cola record. It was that song that we would warm up with and get tight on since it was one of the first to really come together, plus it’s fun to play. There are Cola songs of mine that predate this one but this was the one I was working on when Ben told me he was going to come back from grad school and we talked about jamming together. It clicked when we played it out with Evan and from there we decided to work on songs for a new project.

BEN: The first song Tim showed me, I had this special bassline which I had been playing at Ought soundchecks and was saving for the right moment, it fit perfectly in the first phrase of the chorus and felt like it was a sign.

At Pace:

BEN: This one came from my favourite demo called ‘Life Story‘, named after a speed garage track – Angie Stone ‘Life Story’ (Booker T Vocal Mix). There is something special about the mood of the track, like riding on your 50cc Yamaha in the summer without a license or insurance. Tim and Evan struggled with translating the track to a Cola context. Tim said he felt like he was on a cruise ship whenever he played it and I struggled to convey the feeling in words.

Met Resistance:

TIM: I originally wrote the guitar/drum groove for this while I was in LA right after Ought broke up in 2018. I was working on all these mid-tempo jams and one day I sat down with a desire to write something that rocked a bit. I was never happy with the vocals until we started working on songs for Cola. Then one day I fleshed out this whole narrative where the protagonist is at a bougie gallery opening just feeling at odds with this high art world party that maybe they got invited to. I wrote the lyrics in one sitting–always a good feeling.

EVAN: Ben and I somehow landed on the drum and bass groove while jamming. It felt like it came out of nowhere; as if it was thrown from afar and it just landed perfectly in the song. At that time we were doing fairly long days working through the material in a small studio in Toronto, above a bar. We certainly had some days on which we threw ideas at the wall without much sticking. That day made up for any errors we may have had among the trials.


BEN: ‘Degree’ is based on a 2-step kinda track I produced while trying to do the fabled and well-trodden path of using guitars in electronic music (it almost never works). I came up with this psych-drenched outro that I really enjoyed so I decided to base a song around that chord progression.

EVAN: I wanted the beat to feel like the opening and closing of a mechanical valve. The guitar riff supplies this relentless propulsion and I thought that the drums should act as a stiff regulator: aggressively blocking, then releasing the heavy flow that comes pouring out of the guitar.

Water Table:

BEN:Water Table’ came from some experiments with bass chords. The guitar parts of the verse was an attempt to write something Tim would come up with and basically wrote itself. The guitar in the chorus was originally a harp sample played on a keyboard, which is why the working title was ‘Dark Harp‘. It was the last song I wrote for the record at a moment when we were pretty sure what would end up on the record. I felt like the record needed the emotional note of a song like ‘Water Table’ and the track flowed out of me. Tim sent it back to me with lyrics the next day so I knew it was gonna work.


TIM: This is a track I wrote during a stretch in the pandemic where I was trying to write a song every day to as close to completion as I could. ‘Gossamer‘ was one of the more successful attempts. I really like the lyrics in this song, some of my favourites on the album. I was thinking about easing into ageing a bit, but also the discontent I was feeling being in the same city every day for so long after years of constant touring.


TIM: I originally wrote this as a kind of dense, dark synthy kraut track and it kicked around on my hard drive for a while. I was reading through most of Leonard Cohen’s notebooks around then and I was also spending a lot of time alone quietly cycling through apartment activities. I later dug it out and sent it to Ben and Evan who breathed some new life into it and gave it more of a propulsive punk feel.

Fulton Park:

BEN: This track was an experiment in playing jazz rhythm guitar with an open-D tuning that I made with no intention of it landing on the record. It has a strange cinematic quality that evokes a lush, hilly neighborhood in a West Coast city.


BEN: Landers’ began because I decided at one point I wanted to write songs for this record on piano. This is the  one and only that wound up on the record. The chords were originally more gospel-heavy, but I feel like the sound maintains its hip-hop sample vibe albeit with a bit more impressionism.

TIM: Ben sent me this amazing instrumental on keys one night and I immediately got it in my head to try a more spoken vocal with a poem I’d pulled out earlier in the day. I did one take, pretty much exactly as it is on the album version, and sent it back. Then I sat down and worked on the polar opposite of what I had just sent: a pop version with totally different lyrics and a hook. We still play it when we hang out together and Evan sings backup from the drums. It’s a bizarro version of the track. In the end, our friends responded to the spoken version and we felt it added another dimension to the album. Ben recorded it on this old piano in the studio which helped it along towards this ethereal kind of sound.

EVAN: Cutting this track was special. The performance had a genuine feeling of spontaneity and the sonic palette was exclusive to this song. I think we were so steeped in the energy that we had been creating all week that we were able to intuitively perform this one in a way that made it feel intensely connected to the rest of the record.

Cola play several festivals later in the summer as well as a short UK headline tour. Dates are:


20th – Green Man Festival, Brecon Beacons

23rd – Prince Albert, Brighton

24th – Moth Club, London

25th – Hare & Hounds, Birmingham

26th – Rough Trade, Bristol

27th  – Future Yard, Birkenhead

28th – Pop Recs Ltd, Sunderland

30th – Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh

31st –  Broadcast, Glasgow


1st – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

2nd – Rough Trade, Nottingham

3rd – Manchester Psych Fest (Yes), Manchester

4th – End of the Road Festival, Salisbury

Photo: Colin Medley

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.