Alice Cohen

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Alice Cohen
Origin Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Genres Indie rock, Experimental pop
Years active 1978–present
Labels Chrysalis Records (1979)
Atlantic Records (1980)
Mercury Records (1984−1986)
Dutch East (1993)
Roadrunner Records (1994)
Lungcast (1994)
Evil Teen Records (1996)
Spare Me Records (2001)
Zilcho (2001)
BMG (2001)
Olde English Spelling Bee (2009)
Crinoline (2008)

Alice Cohen (former stage name "Alice Desoto") is a New York City based American singer, songwriter and fine artist.

The Vels[edit]

Cohen is best known for her years as the primary songwriter and lead singer of The Vels, the Philadelphia band she co-created in the early 1980s. They were signed in 1984 to the Mercury label under which they released two albums. They had one minor hit ("Look My Way") and a successful MTV music video.

The Vels toured the U.S. in 1986, opening for The Psychedelic Furs.

Musical History[edit]

In 1980, Alice Cohen wrote Karen Young's Atlantic Records disco track "Deetour",[1] recently re-released on Horse Meat Disco [2]

After The Vels dissolved in 1987, Cohen's work changed direction and she became active in the indie/underground and touring scene. Cohen's best-known venture in this period was the band Die Monster Die. DMD released two albums: 1992's Chrome Molly, on Dutch East, and 1994's Withdrawal Method on Roadrunner Records.[3] The band broke up soon after. (N.B. that in 1995, another band called Die Monster Die was founded in Utah; this band is unrelated to the band Cohen was in.[4])

In 1996, Cohen sang a track (on camera) in the Martin Scorsese-produced movie Grace of My Heart (1996), directed by Allison Anders.

In recent years, Cohen has performed frequently as a solo act, as well as collaborating with a number of groups including LYDSOD, Long Lost, Raw Thrills,[5] Castles, and Espadrille.[6]

With the release of Cohen's solo records, she became active in video and animation, creating music videos to accompany her own releases,[7][8] as well as composing soundtracks for other animations and video projects.

Visual Arts[edit]

Cohen's collages and paintings have appeared in galleries in New York City, San Francisco and elsewhere.

In 2008, Cohen began to produce animated music videos for artists such as Ducktails,[9] Coasting,[10] Broken Deer,[11] and Greatest Hits,[12] using found imagery and objects in traditional cut-out & stop-motion animation style.

Other video/animation work includes "Single Sentence Animations" for the literary journal Electric Literature [13] as well as gallery and installation work.

In 2010, Cohen had her first solo exhibition of visual works including video, collage, and installation, which took place at Live With Animals gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.[14][15]

Cohen's animations have screened in Anthology Film Archives in New York and in festivals worldwide in Copenhagen, New Delhi, Bombai, Greece, and more.


Solo Releases[edit]

  • Pink Keys (2012) (Olde English Spelling Bee & Crinoline Records)
  • Walking Up Walls (2009) (Olde English Spelling Bee)
  • Sky Flowers (2008) (Crinoline Records)

With "The Vels" (Mercury Records)[edit]

  • Velocity (1984)
  • Private World/Hieroglyphics 12" Dub (1984)
  • Look My Way/Tell Me Something 12" Dub (1984)
  • House of Miracles (1986)
  • Girl Most Likely To 12" Dub (1986)

With "Die Monster Die" (Dutch East/Roadrunner Records)[edit]

  • "Chrome Molly" (1993)
  • "Withdrawal Method" (1994)

With "Helivator" (Lungcast)[edit]

  • "Gasoline T-Shirt" (1994)

With "Espadrille" (Spare Me Records)[edit]

  • "Swimmeret" (2001)

Appearing on[edit]

  • "Breakout" (Chrysalis Records) (1979)
  • "Deetour" (songwriter) (Atlantic Records) (1980)
  • "Greetings From Port Authority" Benna Evil Teen Records (1996)
  • "The Best of Nilsson" BMG (1998)


Music Videos[edit]

  • "Landrunner" - Ducktails (2009)
  • "Ichthus Hop" - Talbot Tagora (2009)
  • "Black Pepper" - Alice Cohen (2009)
  • "Memories of Glaciers" - Alice Cohen (2009)
  • "White Woman" - Broken Deer (2010)
  • "Kids" - Coasting (2010)
  • "Ambulance" - Greatest Hits (2010)
  • "Totem" - Weekends (2010)
  • "Marsupial Shenanigans" - Linda Hagood (2010)
  • "Bummer" - K-Holes (2011)
  • "The Phantom's Theme" - Ruckus Roboticus (2013)

Art Videos[edit]

  • "Spools" (2009)
  • "Trance Actions" (2010)
  • "Mirror Moves for Private Eyes" (2010)
  • "Ear Candy" (2010)

Other Commissioned Work[edit]

  • "Three Girls" -Single Sentence Animation for Electric Literature (2009)
  • "Baba Iaga and the Pelican Child" -Single Sentence Animation for Electric Literature (2010)


External links[edit]