I can’t lie… I get a little scared, or at least trepidatious, when I see a band compared to Radiohead. You see, I love early Radiohead, but as far as I’m concerned the band peaked with OK Computer and stopped making music after Kid A. While the choice song or two friends have told me to check out, harkening back to their early sound have been pretty okay, I barely remember any of them and am totally okay with that. Thus, the comparisons made to a band like Radiohead by critics, fans, or electronic press kits usually lead me to approaching bands with a bit of caution. However, when that comparison is placed side by side with artists like Joy Division and Bowie, I feel a bit better heading into the first listening.
Thankfully, the comparisons of Cosmopolis to Radiohead feel to me more like that early Radiohead output that I really enjoyed, where melody still mattered and the music wasn’t experimental only for experiment sake. In fact, the Bowie comparison really rang truest after my first few listens of their latest single “The Distances”, so I was really in my comfort zone while listening to this fantastic single.
A multi-national musical conglomerate that hails from Belgium, Australia, and the UK, Cosmopolis presents a dystopian vision with all the power and style of David Bowie’s late era croon-soaked alternative ballads. Gavin Kendall’s lead vocals help to paint the bleakness, while the ethereal beauty of Liz Haak’s backing vocals add a certain blend of sorrow and charm to the song that really fills it out. Yet, even without the vocals (as demonstrated by the instrumental B-side that immediately was added to my instrumental playlist that is used primarily while reading), the song has a melancholy to it that feels incredible appropriate for 2020.
Listen to “The Distances” below and check out more over at the Cosmopolis website.