January 2024
Music to Feed the Soul
Galactagogues builds on a family tradition

You may recall that in our March issue we dove into the world of local bassist and vocalist Cozzy Bohrman, seen in many bands and collaborations recently, who credited the creative influence of his mother Meg Bohrman and previewed a new collective called Galactagogues. 

What we didn’t realize then is that the Bohrman family is a complex group of creatives, each with their own unique strengths and versatility. With the startup of Galactagogues came new ways of collaborating on songwriting, sound and connection.

Opal, True, Cozzy, Meg and dad Thatcher Bohrman have long meditated on the concept of coming together in their passions. Talking about the new band brings back memories.

“We tried to have a proper family band, my dad and my siblings and my mom, but of course that’s a lot more difficult when you try to implement playing shows and practicing,” Cozzy smiles. “Now that we’re adults it’s been more feasible. But it was also really wonderful in the sense that we got to practice on stage and bond with the family.”

Cozzy and Opal have been following their own organic patterns, alongside the fruition of True’s interest in following suit, under their mother’s influence.

“We didn’t all take interest at once. All our artistic journeys were staggered. True and I aligned very much, because he’s a drummer,” says Cozzy, remembering the initiation of their band The Fault Lines.

So where did it all begin? Meg took me down memory lane.

“I’ve always loved music, and my parents enjoy listening to classical music. I took a few years of classical piano music lessons as a kid. I learned to read notes, but it felt like it came from the outside in. I was always looking for that magic that people have, but I couldn’t seem to find it. Then I had my first son with Thatcher, and then Cosimo was born, and at that time I was given an accordion as a wedding gift. I was spending time learning it, and my children heard me. I was persevering to learn how to play because I’m a songwriter. I originally started playing music for dementia patients, and from there I got a degree in music therapy.”

The central theme of healing through music has crossed over into the message of Galactagogues, which evokes specific targets, agency and meaning to the whole family.

“We play quite an eclectic collection of material,” says Cozzy. “It’s a high-energy homage to folk traditions, but then there’s also this really deep poetry going in the lyrics. The lyrics are very integral to the storytelling.”

“If you come to a Galactagogues show, my greatest hope is that you’ll feel the wholeness of the human experience,” says Meg. “I’m filled with joy and I’m filled with sorrow. There’s so much grief, and we can help each other feel it. Galactagogues honors that.” The shows typically include Meg and Cozzy, often with Zack Dominguez on drums and keys. Meg contributes vocals, ukelele, guitar, accordion, piano, and lyrics, with guitar, bass and vocals by Cozzy.

The band’s new album features artwork by Thatcher and collective songwriting by Meg and Opal, and the release of Cozzy’s first original tunes.

Opal provides additional vocals and bass, and several other local artists contribute as well, including Ines Vitols and Jordan Brambila on fiddle. Johan Glidden’s violin is featured, and the album’s production engineer is Dylan Ludwig, adding percussion.

Delivering a message of healing and togetherness, the band’s album-release show at the Elks Theatre on December 21 featured a solstice sing on the darkest night of the year, previewed on social media: “Together we will sing and dance and feel the feels of this soulful time. We have much to let go and much to create together — let us plant the seeds in the fertile darkness.”

The band’s final official commitment before Cozzy moves to Seattle to be closer to sister Opal will takes place on January 26 at The Raven Cafe. But with a family this close, we can hope to see more soon.

For updates see @galactagogues on Instagram, the Galactagogues Facebook page or visit galactagoguesmusic.com.

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