The opening track ‘Welcome Newcomers’ announces its arrival as a sort of Geffen/French/4AD hybrid. This hits several markers for me and I already know that I will not have trouble giving the whole piece my full attention.
Typically well-crafted French Free Jazz Pop periodically becomes subsumed by a darkness that has real menace and metal directions but is skilfully pulled back before it becomes to stereotyped or contrived. The timing of these mood changes is immaculate.
An equitable and classy use of separate male and female vocals provide a range and a quality contrast in ways that remind me of the best that Gong have offered at their storytelling best.
This is not a concept album album by any stretch but it feels like there was a very clear plan in terms of track ordering before committing anything to studio time. Each track bleeds seemlessly into the next without forfeiting an identity of its own. This works wonderfully as a ‘listen straight through’ piece and as a ‘play on shuffle’ piece. That’s a very smart trick. This is the sort of band I would like to see performing at a Paris squat gig or a very leftfield music festival in some strange low countries urban/industrial late night location.
This is a record that is genre neutral. The moment you think of a musical compartment, the music takes a sharp turn and sends you on a different journey to a new musical possibility. There are a lot of mathrock acts around that deliberately change style, direction and tempo mid song (often several and/or too many times) to showcase some notion of musical cleverness but Cosse manage to give these changes a genuinely honest emotional rationale.
The final track aptly named ‘The Ground’ lands you to a place of relative safety.
I look forward to hearing a lot more from this band.