D.I.Y. indie label Fika recordings presents Cosines, a ‘mathematical’ pop band from the U.K. What this amounts to is a two-song single called Sailor Boy, that can be heard via the link at the end of this post.
This recording is an interesting affair. If Belle and Sebastian channeled the spirit of Kurt Weill in a highly diatonic frame of mind, the end result might be something along the lines of Sailor Boy. It is indie rock as musical. The harmonic progression, the horn line, and the first person narrative style of the lyrics impart a very old school, torch-song quality to the music. There’s something about the singer’s delivery that is so cooly detached as to hover on the outer edges of the highly ironic.
The second track on the Soundcloud page is a much more straight ahead rocker, yet somehow it channels a quality that comes straight from another decade. There’s a certain kind of sixties underground vibe on this one. The dual male/female vocal lead is a little rough, but the whole concept is intriguing. On the whole, this one satisfies a little more than Sailor Boy. There’s so much energy at work on this track, a lot of which has to do with the rhythm of the pick attacks on the rhythm guitar part. The subtle contrast between the verses and the chorus and the form of the song, while not necessarily innovative, contribute greatly to the songs ability to grab your attention.