Oct 06, 2022
By Caleb Campbell
Photography by Victoria Gold
LA-based alt pop outfit Cosmo Gold debuted back in 2019 with their first EP, Waiting On The City. Since the band’s debut, they have been quietly crafting their follow-up, writing under lockdown with their co-producer and longtime engineer Neil Wogensen. When the pandemic first struck they were all living together, allowing them the chance to dive into creative new directions with their upcoming debut full-length album, KRONG.
Influenced by sci-fi odysseys, the record follows a protagonist astronaut as she goes on an otherworldly journey to an alternate universe. But beneath the album’s concept, where Cosmo Gold thrives most is in exceedingly catchy alt pop. The band have been teasing the album this year with a string of singles, and today they’re accompanying their album announcement with another new track, “Stranger,” premiering with Under the Radar.
“Stranger” is possibly the band’s most pop-leaning effort yet, finding them delivering vibrant hooks as they search for love at the end of the world. Glimmering synth melodies, danceable bass grooves, and an earworm chorus give the track an irresistible allure, but the band also infuses it with hints of longing melancholy. The results fuse sharp songwriting with a colorful pop undercurrent, recalling the chilled indie gems of bands like TOPS. Meanwhile, the accompanying video leans into the album’s sci-fi influences, casting vocalist Emily Gold as the record’s spacefaring wanderer.
Gold explains of the track, “‘Stranger’ was written on the very first weekend night of lockdown with our producer, Neil Wogensen, who we were living with. We were honestly just bored and wanted to write a “dumb pop song” for fun about how everyone was drunk at the end of the world. The hook just wasn’t feeling right and the sentiment morphed into “I can still touch you but it feels like the end of the world” which was an emotional trigger for us all and we filled in the rest of the story using our collective romantic experiences of becoming disconnected to someone you once knew so well.
We wrote and arranged the song in about an hour, it was just so natural and fun. We ended up getting to record the song at the legendary Record Plant Studios in Hollywood as a trade for the interns to get some hands-on experience recording a live band. It was a full-circle moment to record our first attempt at a pop song in a big pop studio.”
Check out the song and video below, along with their tour dates and our Q&A with Emily Gold. KRONG is out everywhere on November 11th.
10/30 – Album Pre-release Listening Party + Immersive Experience, 6pm-8pm @ Permanent Records Roadhouse in LA, CA
11/21 – The Echo in LA, CA
Congrats on the new release, “Stranger”! Can you tell us a bit about the single?
Thank you! This is one of my favorite songs on the record and creating it was such a fun and collaborative moment for us. The lyrics are about being at that point in a relationship where you can sense impending doom. Where what once felt so familiar now feels foreign but the distance is something that’s only felt and not spoken about. Sometimes being lonely in a relationship is harder than being lonely and alone. We later superimposed other layers of meaning that contextualized it within the Krong universe.
What a wildly creative music video to accompany this new release! We love it. What inspired the video? What did you enjoy the most about shooting/directing it and what did you find the most challenging?
The video was inspired by 1960’s and 70’s sci-fi and my deep meditation on what this song meant within the landscape of Krong as a physical space. All the visuals for this record have followed a story arch so this picks up where the other videos left off. I think I enjoyed creating the props the most. As it was my most in-depth video project yet, there was a substantial learning curve in all areas, especially creating the storyboard. Fortunately, my videographer and co-director, John Dowd, very graciously helped to walk me through the process.
You’re gearing up to release your next album, KRONG. What can you tell us about the record and what does it mean to you?
Krong is an alternate universe where doubt is a virtue. It is colorful and fun dimension with different characters and lands that ultimately explores the theme of extreme relativism and love. We as a band have been living in this world for so long now, nearly 3 years, so we’re almost totally brainwashed by our own vision and it is hard sometimes to decipher what is reality and what is our imagination. I say this in the best way possible.
What do you hope fans/listeners take away from it?
I just hope that people are able to experience some form of escape when listening to the album. Whatever meaning they take away from it is out of our control.
Finally, what else is next for you? Will you be touring the album? Any other projects/goals for the near future?
We have lots of ideas but mainly we aim to tour the album as much as possible in 2023 (shows TBA) and continue writing and recording.