Whilst most of us are wondering how long it will take to see the arrival of The Maccabee’s forth album, following the release in 2012 of the Mercury Prize nominated Given To the Wild, guitarist Felix White has surprised us all through The Maccabee’s Facebook page by announcing that he has been silently busying himself recently over the creation of his debut solo EP, Cosmo. The 5-track listing is a collaboration project hosting an impressive list of artists, including Florence Welsh, Jack Peñate, and Jessie Ware.
It comes as no surprise upon listening to the opening track, ‘Neon Citied Sea’, that Cosmo was written and recorded around the time of producing Given To The Wild; the song features fast-paced instrumentals and echoing vocals that could quite easily be a follow-on or B-side from Given To The Wild. But this is not merely a collection of music leftovers (and whose to say that would ever be a bad thing from The Maccabees?); with the help of a few friends, namely Felix’s old (and now pretty famous) school friends Florence, Jack and Jessie, as well as Johnny Bramwell from I am Kloot, Adam Day from The Lyrebirds, and Jamie N Commons, Felix has created a polished and all-round mature sounding mini-album.
Although Cosmo has a too good to be true line-up of artists, (to further add to the list, fellow Maccabees’ boys Hugo White and Sam Doyle joined in too; Hugo chipping in on vocals and Sam on drums), the music itself takes an unpretentious stance which can be likened to the wholesome debut solo project of The Maccabee’s front man Orlando Weeks, Young Colossus, back in March 2012. Cosmo was recorded in The Maccabees’ South London studio, and is said to have only cost a mere £100 to produce; something that most definitely reflects the organic production behind this project. Each track is accompanied by its own video which hosts a running theme of old black and white footage, such as a marriage ceremony taking place on a roller coaster and a camera fixed to a high-speed train filming the train tracks get swallowed up beneath it, which mirror perfectly the progressive instrumentals of the tracks.
The lead track, ‘Yalla’, featuring vocals from Jack and Jessie, is accompanied by a video, which, unlike the other black and white videos is a rather surrealist film of a fun-loving business man floating about in a wind tunnel. The slow-mo of his wobbly cheeks and inflating nose fits ridiculously well with the music. This is definitely the song you’d want to be listening to if you ever found yourself flying about in an air machine. If you want to compare it for yourself, check out the video directed by Felix White and George Belfield here.
Cosmo was released on 23rd September digitally, or you can support record stores by purchasing the 10” vinyl from Rough Trade East and Brighton’s Resident music.