Early in 2019, Taylor Cochrane posted what amounted to an artist statement to accompany the release of his band 36?’s album, Milk Mountain. In it, he both described and wrestled with his creative process and his intentions, and the pharmaceutically confused mindset he created in through his formative years. He had arrived, he said, at a conclusion: “one thing that I have come to need in art to consider it authentic is to feel everything unapologetically”. And indeed, 36? is both “everything” and “unapologetic.” Careening from spikey, prog-psych rock to gauzy, atmospheric explorations to retro tinged Thin White Duke soul, 36? occupies a dizzying number of sonic spaces on stage, on record and within a single song. At one moment Cochrane and Co. shimmy up to the Scissor Sisters, the next they’re bashing out art damaged agit-prop a la Wire, all while remaining satisfyingly honest – ironic winks and nods be damned. Having spent much of 2019 on the road, 36? return to their hometown a tour-tested live machine, none the wearier, though perhaps — just a bit — the weirder.
Biography by Derek McEwen