Review: Illiterate Light Rocks LA's Moroccan Lounge

Currently on tour in support of their self-titled debut album, indie alternative rock duo Illiterate Light, featuring Jeff Gorman (guitar/ vocals) and Jake Cochran (drums/ vocals), recently hit the stage of LA’s Moroccan Lounge. Fueled by a capacity crowd, Gorman and Cochran launched into a 75-minute set, featuring selections off their latest release. Producing the output of a full band. Gorman’s electrifying guitar worked merged simultaneously with the foot bass and his lead vocals blended seamlessly with Cochran’s powerful drumming. Gorman, a self-proclaimed introvert and Cochran, an extreme introvert, were both able to engage with the audience at an intense level. Feeding off the energy on stage, the crowd packed the dance floor, hanging on every note, and singing along with many of the evening selections.

“We are a duo, there is polarity there,” says Gorman. “There is a dualism and we tend to define that in our personality types. Jake often is more pushed into the light energy, outward, high movement visibility and I tend to embody some more of the dark energy, a little bit of the inner shadow side of things. What we are working on is finding harmony between those two things. Jake helps me get out of that inner dark calm, he moves me out into the light, and vice versa. Our best shows are gonna have both. So that is our philosophy with our energetic performance. It has become ingrained in what we do. We’re two guys having a lot of fun on stage.”

“There’s a moment when the artist and the crowd band together to be part of this thing where there is such a connection and taking risks on stage," says Cochran. “We’ll experiment and take risks. I’m a pretty expressive performer, and I like to move around. To have that spontaneity on stage and whatever happens, happens let’s say yes to it, keep it moving and make it better in the moment.’”

“We love performing, it’s where really where we come alive,” adds Gorman. “The issue is how to capture that in a recording sense. There’s no crowd and it’s not night time. It’s the first time that we have a recorded series of songs that we’re like, 'This is a representation of our live show.' The live show is still totally different, but the album really rocks.”

Formed in Harrisonburg, Virginia in 2015, Illiterate light has rapidly become one of the indie music scene's most promising artists. Often compared to the band My Morning Jacket, they continue to tour with abandon, sharing the concert stage with Shakey Graves, Rayland Baxter, Mt. Joy, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, and The Head And The Heart. They have also performed at Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and the Newport Folk Festival. Their single “Carolina Lorelei” was praised by NPR Music as one of the Best Songs of 2019, and their single “Better Than I Used To,” broke the Top 15 on the Triple-A Radio Charts.

“For us, music has always been the central point of connection,” says Gorman. “We dive into broader life experiences. We’ve shared a lot of pain and loss, and a lot of creative endeavors that have had highs and lows. When you stick it out you just say ‘No matter what we are just going to continue to create with each other.’ The connection goes deeper than just getting up on stage. We’re both married and surrounded by a lot of wise people. At the end of the day, you need a village to do this sort of thing. We have a great team around us. We are very thankful.”

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