Music Review: "The Distances" single by Cosmopolis
Slow and moody, “The Distances” — released by Cosmopolis on October 30th, 2020 — is a melodic, alternative rock track that pulls the best elements of what similar pioneering artists of the 80s and 90s used to bring to the table, and makes them its own. Echoing bands like Joy Division, Oasis, Arcade Fire, David Bowie and others, “The Distances” has an intriguing and vaguely familiar sound that will likely appeal to a fairly wide audience.
“'There's no nature here. Don't stay. You're not welcome here. You're not wanted here. Get out of here,” goes the chorus. According to the press release, the track’s “claustrophobic, menacing feel is perfect for our times”; it “obliquely compares the end of Romanticism, shattered by the 20th century, and the environmental crisis of the 21st.” Perhaps. To me, though, it seems to be about alienation, loneliness, and depression.
Cosmopolis released three versions of “The Distances”: an almost 6-minute full version, a 3.5-minute radio version, and an instrumental version that’s about 10 seconds shorter than the original. I prefer the instrumental one, since it allows for a fuller appreciation of the band’s creativity and musical abilities. But, vocals by singer/multi-instrumentalist Gavin Kendall and guest backing singer Liz Haak make the full version a close second.
The band’s name is inspired by Cosmopolis, a European literary magazine that was published simultaneously in London, Paris, Berlin and Saint Petersburg during the 1890s. And though the term is defined as “a city inhabited by people from many different countries,” Cosmopolis’ three band members actually live in Belgium, Australia, and England, respectively. Their songs are arranged, mixed, and mastered in the cloud, but are often recorded in person around the world.
The indie band has live concert dates scheduled throughout the second half of 2021, so — pandemic permitting — fans will get the chance to enjoy the work of Gavin Kendall, Nicolas Payelle (multi-instrumentalist) and David Hussey (percussion) in person. In the meantime, however, check out Cosmopolis’ social pages for the most recent information about the band and its upcoming singles, which will be released roughly every two months of this year.
Note* Album provided for objective review by our partners.