Premiere: Cole Anyway Shares New Single “On Hold”

Cole Anyway
 Photo by Alex Marino

Cole Anyway is the stage name Los Angeles resident Cole Emoff employs for his cinematic, convention-defying pop. As Cole Anyway, he creates an enveloping trance, drawing equally on lush old lounge records and the smooth, soft sounds of the 1970s, then breaking his chill with appealingly disorienting effects. Cole Anyway takes unexpected turns in arrangements and execution, a gift showcased on the new double A-side single “Days Off“/”On Hold” — a pair of songs equally beguiling in their melodies and vibe. Today, Emoff shares the second A-side, “On Hold.”

“Days Off” and “On Hold” evoke specific moods. With its relaxed gait and washes of analog synthesizers, “Days Off” suggests the fathomless possibilities of lazy, uncharted days, while “On Hold” captures the feeling of floating in ecstatic limbo — a place where nothing really happens and that’s totally fine. Little electronic flourishes and flair keep both songs from following a straight line, accents that reflect Cole Emoff’s regular work as an audio special effects and sound designer. 

Speaking on “On Hold,” Emoff wrote:

“‘On Hold’ also has double meaning for me. Gives off the feeling of relaxing smooth hold music (the kind of stuff I grew up loving on video game soundtracks, and have dove more into since moving to LA). But also the feeling of life feeling on hold as I autopilot through the days waiting for something to happen, a reminder to myself not to just stay on hold my whole life.”

Emoff’s work as a sound designer can be heard throughout today’s landscape of adult-oriented television animation — notably, he added sound effects to Netflix’s The Midnight Gospel, complementing the score of Joe Wong. With Cole Anyway, Emoff marries these dramatic instincts with a quirky sense of humor gleaned from a deep love of video game music, influences that were evident on his first major project, Sitting with Stillness. On that 2021 EP, Emoff’s mastery of mood wove a spell-binding meditation. While “Days Off’/”On Hold” also spin their own dream-like settings, they’re undeniably pop music, built upon melody and driven by rhythm. 

A native of Dayton, Ohio, Cole Emoff was drawn to a variety of different music and sounds as a child, eventually gravitating toward the ambience of Brian Eno, the gorgeous orchestrations of the Beach Boys, and the cool spectral electronic music, whether it was heard in the guise of a composer like Ryuichi Sakamoto or video games. Emoff eventually left Ohio for Brooklyn, where he played in the Brooklyn-based psychedelic band Quicksilver Daydream. That group’s bassist, Brett Banks, appeared on Sitting with Stillness, the four-track EP Emoff recorded between 2018 and 2019. 

Sitting with Stillness also came with interactive videos by Cole Kush, visuals that underscored Emoff’s connection to cinema. “Days Off”/”On Hold” continues this with animations by Mike L. Mayfield, while River Cousin provided album art and additional looping animation. Among the other collaborators on the 2022 single from Cole Anyway are a pair of veterans from the Los Angeles-based indie imprint Stones ThrowWill Logan, who drums with MNDSGN, and can be heard on recent material from Kiefer, and mixer Lucas Nathan, a multi-instrumentalist and producer better known by their stage name Jerry PaperJonathan Schenke, a mixer who has previously worked with Snail Mail and Parquet Courts, mastered the singles. All their contributions help flesh out the dreamy fantasies of Cole Emoff, whose boundless imagination is apparent on these two pithy, picturesque tracks.


Cole Anyway is the stage name Los Angeles resident Cole Emoff employs for his cinematic, convention-defying pop. As Cole Anyway, he creates an enveloping trance, drawing equally on lush old lounge records and the smooth, soft sounds of the 1970s, then breaking his chill with appealingly disorienting electronic effects. Cole Anyway takes unexpected turns in arrangements and execution, a gift showcased on the new double A-side single “Days Off“/”On Hold” — a pair of songs equally beguiling in their melodies and vibe. Outside of Cole Anyway, Emoff’s work as a sound designer can be heard throughout today’s landscape of adult-oriented television animation; notably, he added sound effects to Netflix’s The Midnight Gospel, complementing the score of Joe Wong. – Written by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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