New EP 'Only Human' finds band taking committed approach

Liz Fisher and Corey Dickerson of local alt/indie-rock outfit the Cordial Sins have, in recent months, been big on solidification.

This summer, the couple took a step in their five-year personal relationship via a domestic partnership ceremony. Despite taking turns jokingly referring to the arrangement as a “half-marriage” or “baby marriage” during an interview at their North Campus-area home, the level of commitment is obviously meaningful to both.

“It was a way to show our commitment to each other and to celebrate that with the people we love,” Dickerson said.

“We've always shared everything, so it just made sense,” Fisher said, adding the couple just wasn't ready for a big wedding right now. “Besides, we have the dogs, and these cats, and these guitars…”

The pair has also assumed greater control over the creative direction and administration of the Cordial Sins, also a five-year relationship Fisher and Dickerson have shared with a handful of other musicians through the years.

“The band has pretty much been us being together. We have kept our working relationship separate from our personal relationship as much as we can, but we let them inspire each other, which has helped us be a team in every sense,” Fisher said.

The current, consolidated creative direction of the Cordial Sins is reflected on the band's new EP, Only Human. (The band celebrates with a vinyl release party at Ace of Cups on Saturday, Oct. 21.) Recorded with producer Jon Fintel at Columbus' Relay Recording, Only Human reveals a melodic, guitar-heavy Sins sound, with fewer synths and strings.

“I think that when we first started playing together, we just wanted to play, but we didn't really have an idea of what we wanted to sound like. Or maybe we did but we weren't sure how to do it,” Dickerson said, adding that as they've matured as musicians, he and Fisher have learned to be more intentional about the band's songwriting.

“Our sound now is also representative of us being able to shed a bunch of baggage and get closer to the core of whatever we were looking to do,” Fisher said. “When I joined [the band], it was to play violin and [the thinking was] that would be an integral part of the band, and it felt like we had to force that into the music. It was a completely different band and completely different music. Even the first record with me singing (2015's Daze), there were a lot more strings and synths.

“We just had to realize this is [Corey's and my] thing and nobody cares about it as much as we do, so it's safer for us to take control of everything we can and bear the responsibility and be up front about it.”

“Even our older songs, we don't play them the way we did on the record,” Dickerson said. “Structurally, they're the same, but the guitar tones are edgier and with a lot more distortion.”

Thematically, the songs on the EP range from the personal (“People, Places, Things” was inspired by the struggles experienced by a former bandmate) to the worldly (the title track urges not only acknowledgment of but action on social ills).