By Dillon Veazie
Four years after the release of his debut album, South London artist Cosmo Pyke brings us A Piper for Janet EP.
It is safe to say Pyke has leveled up exponentially during his four year hiatus from releasing music. For Pyke’s sophomore album, he moved away from the conventional indie sound and into his own league.
A Piper for Janet is a jazz record at its roots, though at times it is also hard rock, R&B, reggae and really whatever you want it to be. The jazzy chord progressions on Pyke’s first EP should have been a hint at what was to come.
“A Piper for Janet”
The title track for this EP is a rollercoaster and a smooth one at that.
The track begins with an acoustic guitar ballad that is a predictable introduction to any Pyke song. However, the track morphs into something entirely different. Pyke brings out a large horn arrangement backed by smooth electric piano sounds.
This song feels huge. There is so much substance to it that it is impossible to predict what the next measure is going to sound like. This is definitely a large leap away from the conventional song structures employed for his first album.
When I first listened, I had to check my phone to make sure I was still listening to a Pyke tape, that is how much his sound has progressed.
Cosmo’s soulful songwriting ability shines the most through this track.
At times the song sounds like a steady stream of consciousness, like he free-styled the whole track. But upon closer inspection, the genius behind the lyricism in this song is evident. Most of the lyrics have no rhyme so you cannot help but wonder how the track was even conceptualized.
Backed by a trio of female R&B voices Cosmo sings, “These days they come and they go but I know I’ll be longing for your kiss,” or as Jay-Z would say, “Sounds so soulful right now don’t you agree!”
The third song on the EP seamlessly switches between a soft piano and organ ballad to a cacophony of heavy and distorted guitars. At times Pyke lets out an anguished scream: “I- I- I- I- I’d have to find my way out!”
The screams perfectly capture the pain underneath his words. Pyke does this so effortlessly you would think he was a hall of fame rockstar. Though he is not there yet, this record has the markings of a future legend and a household name.
The last track on the EP has a funky and reggae feel. Fast organ sequences and moving parts make the song sound like something composed by the great Frank Zappa.
The looseness of Pyke’s lyricism is at its strongest during this track.
Pkye yells, “Never had to breathe. The winds of the double, cat caught the buggle. Mad all them holidays was rain in the summer. Police keep on knocking,” sounding almost completely off beat without messing up the flow of the song.
Featured image by Genius Media Group.