Hello and welcome back to DIY’s introducing feature, Get To Know… which aims to get you a little bit closer to the buzziest acts that have been catching our eye as of late, and working out what makes them tick.
Ever since their debut single ‘Backseat Baby’ arrived at the end of last year, Cosmorat have been making waves in London’s live circuit, establishing a reputation for performances that have both confidence and playfulness in spades. Their recent set on night three of DIY’s Hello 2024 gig series was no different, and they’ve recently taken yet another left-turn with the release of their latest track ‘No Sleep’ - a seven minute, string-flecked rumination on the difficulty of being unable to help when loved ones are in pain. Ahead of the arrival of their debut EP ‘Evil Adjacent’ (which lands next month), we catch up with the band’s Taylor Pollack.
Describe your music to us in the form of a Tinder bio.
I don’t use Tinder, I am exclusively looking for love on LinkedIn.
What were the music scenes like where you grew up? Were there any other artists breaking through at the same time that you took inspiration from?
I sort of grew up in the middle of nowhere right between the Midwest and Appalachia. I didn’t usually have the gas (petrol) money to drive to Pittsburgh or Cleveland to be immersed in some of the “music-centric” areas, so because of that, the “scene” that was cultivated was kind of just kids throwing parties in their garages, barns, and basements and setting up drums and amps. One time, I went to a garage party and tried to do this artsy thing of reading poetry while my friend bowed a guitar. I think we were all so deprived of a third space and a music scene that so many of the kids were so into it.
I never really had a solid band growing up, mostly just my friends and local kids bashing out poorly written songs on untuned guitars. There is nothing more fun, raw, and energetic than a bunch of people who have no idea what they are doing but are so passionately playing and screaming. That's what really shaped me as a performer and musician, I think.
You've just announced your debut EP 'Evil Adjacent', which explores the idea of looking for light even in the darkest of circumstances. Can you tell us a bit more about the experiences or events which influenced the project?
The title 'Evil Adjacent' is, to me, about holding hands with and walking beside your and other’s demons, all the while growing up with climate change, constant wars, and opioid epidemics, and having to accept the reality of it all.
It’s hard to talk about some of the specific instances I’m referencing in the EP. Tragedy can beget more tragedy, and without proper access to mental health services, financial aid, and education, a lot of people get stuck into cycles of abuse or get lost in the system.
Still, I am inspired by the resilience of people, being able to find joy and make it through. 'Backseat Baby' was my ode to messing around in our middle of nowhere town, where loads of the kids had some pretty terrible home lives but could still get all giddy sneaking out and lighting fireworks off at the local football fields. Being able to find that joy is so special to me. Life is hard! Let’s dance and scream.
Cosmorat's sound is distinctive in its layering of different instrumental textures and vocal lines. What effect do you aim to create with this collage-like approach?
One of my favourite things to do is take the bus so that I can look out the window, listen to music, and write movies in my head to the music. I really enjoy romanticising parts of my life by putting them to the silver screen in my daydreams. I know that can be very toxic, but putting things into songs and envisioning a sort of movie scene to go along with it is a bit of a coping mechanism for me. I'm probably just too American in that regard. I suppose I'm just trying to score my own life with the music, and the different textures and layers are meant to evoke the scenes to which I am referring.
If you could tour with any artist/band, who would it be and why?
Musically or otherwise, what are you most looking forward to this year?
I’m just excited to play shows and tour. I just wanna sing and scream to anyone willing to listen.
Finally, DIY are coming round for dinner - what are you making?
Firstly, I will feed you coffee on an empty stomach. Then, we will ask Olly, our guitarist, to please make us his famous tempeh bao buns. Unfortunately that will take far too long, and Lorenzo, our drummer, and I will complain. So, as he is making it, we will go out and buy bags of peanut M&M’s (unless you are allergic to peanuts of course, in which case I will settle for anything else, but it must be chocolate). Then, we will spoil our dinner and feel a little ill. But we will be sure to send you home with some of the delicious bao buns in a curry-stained Tupperware container so that you can have them as leftovers tomorrow.
'Evil Adjacent' is out on 15th March.