Based in three very different parts of the world – Belgium, Australia, and England – alternative/art-rock outfit Cosmopolis recently released their third single, “The Distances,” a song subtly comparing the demise of Romanticism with the ecological crisis on the horizon.

Made up of Gavin Kendall (vocals, multi-instrumentalist), Nicolas Payelle (guitars, bass, multi-instrumentalist), David Hussey (drums, percussion), and the marvelous guest vocals of Liz Haak, Cosmopolis records their music in various locations and then arranges, mixes, and masters in the cloud.

At the current juncture, Cosmopolis plans on releasing a series of new singles, dropping a new track about every two months. And when the pandemic finally ends, they plan on live concerts, hopefully beginning in the latter half of 2012.

The band’s name – Cosmopolis – was inspired by the European literary magazine published in London, Paris, Berlin, and St. Petersburg during the 1890s.

“The Distances” opens on a thumping kick drum topped by clanking, almost chiming percussion, as drifting guitar colors undulate on low-slung washes of color, conveying ominous floating savors as if waiting for portents to occur and erupt onto history’s stage.

Shimmering, gleaming, and bursting with ethereal coloration, there’s a dark, cutting edge to the music, soft, yet exposing serrated trickling forces of unknown characteristics, roiling, collecting, and spilling over the edge of the cup – a passive program slowly accruing operational activity.

Kendall’s voice oozes tantalizing and simultaneously menacing tones rife with imminence, while Haak’s luminous, ethereal timbres infuse the lyrics with bewitching, chill timbres, at once haunting and looming.

“There’s no nature here / Don’t stay / You’re not welcome here / You’re not wanted here / Get out of here.”

On one level, “The Distances” is mysteriously sensuous, lingering, and sinuous, whereas on another level it’s wickedly momentous, emanating fateful implications of vast significance.

With “The Distances,” Cosmopolis offers soft, silky music chock-full of both alluring beauty and foreboding currents.

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