Getting past the initial whimsical nature of this project you’ll find something deeply infectious about the music of Cosmos Says Hello. Throughout their lengthy and colorful 2023 debut, cheekily titled The Album, the four-piece manages time and again to craft memorable melodies and wrap them in energetic and immersive atmospheres.

A rock band based in New York City, Cosmos Says Hello are a four-piece composed of frontman Gore May, Cory Clifton, Sebastian Razny, and Kurt Gottwald. The chemistry is off the roof from the first seconds of the album. It becomes apparent early on that Cosmos Says Hello possess a distinct style and sound that they are heralding with astonishing confidence. The Album has songs that are unabashedly quirky, colorful, upbeat, yet with whimsical undertones and curious melodies and production cues. 

The songs on The Album are more so really well-defined musical sketches than conventional rock songs. Alternative in spirit and with considerable leanings towards pop and a spacey, cosmic presence, the songs defy normal genre boundaries, falling into an experimental realm that is delightfully handled by the group, never once feeling alienating or inaccessible. The intense electronic processing on ‘Rainbows Again’ serves as an example of what Cosmos Says Hello do so well. Rock beats and a dynamic sense of groove, accompanied by curious synthesizer sounds, backing up Gore May’s distinctive vocal timbre that calls to mind Hayden Thorpe’s operatic delivery and lush vibrato. 

The group finds no difficulty in flexing their songwriting muscles, crafting one unforgettable atmosphere after another, ending up with an album that’s as sonically fulfilling and varied as Muse’s Origins of Symmetry or Led Zeppelin’s Houses of the Holy, with vastly different musical directions for sure. ‘(Your) Tears in the Rain’ is another wonderful example of the band’s non-linear approach to songwriting. Blending multiple grooves, vocal harmonies, and atmospheric elements to create a five-minute song that’s a trip through time and space. Progressive and bold.

It is worth noting that after a pop-heavy start to the album that sucks you in and gets you hooked, the album starts really brandishing its heavy, progressive core that’s rich with space rock cues. ‘Haze’ and its whammied guitar riffs, chopped-up vocals, and unerring groove is among the album’s heaviest and most brooding songs. With a vividly colorful short solo, even the album’s heaviest song is not free of Cosmos Says Hello’s trademark curiosity. ‘Interstellar’ is one of the album’s centerpieces that heavily harkens back to Muse’s Black Holes and Revelations with its anthemic blend of space rock elements with an ambiance to create a sense of uplifting, over-the-top drama. Gore May also delivers one of his most standout performances on the song.

Jumping from a Muse-inspired space rock vibe to the cosmic warmth of Coldplay on ‘No One’, Cosmos Says Hello are drawing from a varied palette of inspirations. Stating Radiohead, MGMT, The Temper Trap, and Grizzly Bear among their influences, it is not surprising to hear a sonic palette this stark and colorful on nearly every song on the album. ‘No One’ is based on a Coldplay-like heavy-handed drum beat and sledgehammer bass delivery, blending them with even more space rock, with shimmering synth arpeggios, memorable melodies, and an outstanding sense of groove. The song that’s most likely to get you on your feet in a frenzied dance. Absolutely beautiful.

After a short rock interlude, with ‘How Would I Know’, one of the album’s more straightforward pop rock tunes, a conventional banger, the band deliver one more essential groove in the shape of ‘Always Shines’. Making without the intense, spacey grooves for something more grounded and driving, the song is another earthed stunner that showcases some of the album’s tightest rhythm section performances, a melodic and capable delivery from Gore May, displaying his vocal talent less masked by processing and less drenched in cosmic effects wizardry. ‘Always Shines’ is a fantastic display of the group’s inherent quirkiness and fantastic songwriting chops.

‘It’s Not All (Weird and Wonderful)’ is the album’s penultimate piece and one of its most unforgettable. Serene and groovy in equal measures, another fantastic song for the road, the piece is loaded with a sense of melodic melancholy that makes it befitting for a goodbye to such a varied, lush, and fulfilling listen. Cosmos Says Hello are a fantastic group of skilled musicians with outstanding chemistry. With musicality through the roof, songs written with such elegance and levels of nuance, individual performances all worthy of massive praise, and with terrific production as the cherry on top of the cake, The Album is an extremely worthwhile listen that takes a hefty amount of time to deliver a hefty amount of musical detail. Polished, novel, interesting, and extremely well-executed.