Cosmo’s Midnight are holed up in the Blue Mountains when our call finally connects over WiFi. They don’t have any phone reception, but the seclusion is much needed. They’re finishing up new music. Patrick Liney, one brother of the production-duo Cosmo’s Midnight, admits he gets hopelessly distracted.
“That’s something that really holds me back. I get distracted pretty easily, if I can get rid of that I actually sit down and start writing stuff.”
Even though one wouldn’t think to find Cosmo’s Midnight in a Venn Diagram of solitude and music writing. The music they produce is layered, head-bopping, house. It makes more sense then that the music they listen to themselves is a lot of house, hip-hop, disco, and funk. Though, it would come as a surprise that Liney likes listening to ambient music – a genre he says he has struggled to write for thus far.
Their debut album, What Comes Next, is stacked with hip-hop nods, features, and samples. When you count a Pharrell Williams’ green light and a tick of approval from Elton John, Cosmo’s are on a Kevin Parker-path towards some serious production chops.
It’s interesting that Liney mentions Parker himself in the conversation. It turns out Parker also writes in relative solitude. “Kevin Parker wrote his whole album in Western Australia on a beach cliff or something and it’s still like, super bright, electronic sort of pop stuff. It’s really good for being a controlled space, we’re you can just hone in on one thing and smash it out.”
What Come’s Next was recorded in similar conditions on the northern NSW coast, free from distractions.
Parker has quietly become a driving force in rap. With a rollcall of collaborations and production credits with the genre’s greats, Travis Scott, Kanye West, and a record with Theophilus London, Parker has parlayed his psychedelic accolades with Tame Impala into a creative-director role in rap.
It’s as if Cosmo’s, and Liney himself, are zeroing-in on a similar trajectory, mixing with unlikely acts like SKEGGS and Ocean Alley – whom turned out to all have a lot in common with the boys – to create surprising results. Liney is interested in getting different artists together to push them into writing things they’ve never done before.
As a peek to what really comes next for Cosmo’s, Liney mentions he’s keen to keep pushing forward with rap and says he has lots of untouched hip-hop and RNB tracks, “I definitely want to kind of dig deeper, because we’ve been in this sort of intersection of house music and hip-hop music and I want to see where we can take it with new music.”
For now, we leave them to get groceries and back to work digging deeper, amongst the old trees and light drizzle.
We can cross our fingers that we’ll hear some of this new, perhaps more focused, music when the boys join the St. Jerome’s Laneway Tour around Australia in February 2019, hitting up Melbourne on Saturday February 9.
Written by Darby-Perrin Larner