New Music Of The Day: Cullen Omori – ‘Cinnamon’

Was the fallout of Smith Westerns messy or not? It’s been months and I still can’t totally figure it out.

3:31 in this video, when their old singer Cullen Omori seta a bunch of their old posters on fire would suggest it probably was, mind. Or maybe shit just happens to young bands and I’m reading too much into it all?

Either way, Cullen’s back today with the first new music from his solo career. ‘Cinnamon’ is taken from his album, New Misery, and it’s being awarded our NMOTD on account of it’s shimmering beauty.


Much of New Misery was written following stints cleaning stretchers and wheelchairs while Omori worked at a medical supply company, winding away the hours listening to Top 40 radio. Recorded by Shane Stoneback (Sleigh Bells, Vampire Weekend, Fucked Up), it’s a lush-sounding, synth-heavy record – closer in sound to Smith Westerns final album Soft Will than the more guitar-orientated stuff they put out earlier.

Here’s Cullen on the making of the album, which is out on March 18 via Sub Pop:

“There is so much dirt in hospitals and fuzz and lint and dried blood on these [stretchers and wheelchairs]. We’d clean them down, which in a way is kind of therapeutic, and listen to the radio. Then we’d go back to [band member] Adam [Gil]’s house and record demos for what was to become the skeleton of New Misery. I can’t sit down and say I’m going to write a Sam Smith or an Adele song or whatever. The closest I can get to that is making like this weird hybrid of what I think is a pop song.”

And here’s the tracklisting:

1. No Big Deal
2. Two Kinds
3. Hey Girl
4. And Yet the World Still Turns
5. Cinnamon
6. Poison Dart
7. Sour Milk
8. Synthetic Romance
9. Be A Man
10. LOM
11. New Misery


Last time I saw Cullen’s old bandmate Max Kakacek – the Marr to his Moz, if you will – was with his new band Whitney at last year’s CMJ, where he seemed to be revelling in a new, fresh setup. With the exception of Hinds, they were perhaps the smiliest band I saw all last year. They played a still-unreleased song called ‘No Women’ which was jaw-droppingly good. Read more about them here and here.