Whenever I listen to sibling-formed music groups, I can’t help but envision the start to their music career as a family house somewhere on the prairie in Montana, with gifts such as tambourines, banjos, and cowbells wrapped and placed under the Christmas tree. Isn’t Christmas the time when most children receive their first musical instruments?
While that hypothetical beginning is all fine and dandy, these siblings friendships turned bands have been rather off key in recent years. Whether it’s their concept of same-blood, or their religious inspirations, special cheers to The Jonas Brothers and HAIM for giving family oriented musicians a corny, “kumbayah” reputation.
With this pre-notion in mind, I gave Virginia based brotherly group, Cosby, a listen on YouTube, and was pleasantly surprised with their lack of Jesus references and purity rings. Thanks to Cosby’s religious shortages, brothers Chris and Chip Cosby make up in room-filling ambiance with synth-pop keyboard chords and 80s inspired guitar strums.
If Daft Punk’s musical talents hadn’t saved the Tron film, Cosby’s winning video game sound easily could have — no coincidence that Cosby’s first single and music video, “Heartracer,” from their forthcoming album, takes places in an arcade. The brothers describe the feeling behind “Heartracer” as, “that moment when we finally feel at ease with the realization that we are all, for better or worse, heading in the same direction on this big floating rock in space we call Earth.”
If there’s one word to describe “Heartracer,” and their other singles, “Get It Back” and “Tightrope,” it’s easygoing. The key recipe to any successful song lies in the perfect blend and of lyrics and instrumentals — or at least, one should heighten the other. In Cosby’s case, I fear their lyrics stifle the feel-good, chillwave rhythms.
In the past, Cosby’s been compared to M83 with their ground-shaking syncopation; however, M83 let their drums, guitars and keyboards speak for themselves. At times, I wish the Cosby brothers would let their continuous melodic riffs carry on, even if it does turn into a six-minute head bob jam session.
Cosby’s lyrics lean towards the lackluster with their repetitive nature, and feel emotionally shallow. The brothers scratch the surface with feelings towards heartbreak in the song, “Get It Back,” but there’s so much room for potentially poetic, well-crafted lyrics to get a truly emotional reaction from listeners.
The same could be said for their newest single, “Heartracer.” There would be no telling that their single stands for global unity if I hadn’t read the news release.
Overall, Cosby’s instrumentals evoke more emotion than the lyrics, but truthfully, who has time to ponder over what Cosby has to say when their indie dance beats, mixed by Stewart Meyers, swallow dance floors whole.
Sophie is a recent graduate from Arizona State University with a BA in Film and Media Studies. Born in London, and raised in Prague, she is a natural born traveller, which led to exploring Southeast Asia and most recently, Alaska. Whilst traveling, she’s expanded her knowledge and passion for foreign film and music. Upon moving to Los Angeles, she’s worked on television sets, a 2014 Sundance short, and participated in a live taping of “America’s Got Talent.” Sophie’s attentiveness for music began at seventeen, when she first gained access to the senior lounge’s speaker system, and often got into trouble for blasting explicit lyrics through her high school’s hallways. In her free time, Sophie spends countless hours at the movies, tattoo parlors, and local dog parks.