“Hollywood Is Mine”
“The Ballad of Sgt. Gray”
Singles and videos reviewed by Mike O’Cull, independent music journalist. www.mikeocull.com
Cosmic Orphans is a quickly emerging musical duo comprised of Englishman Brandon Kirkham and Slovenian Tomaž Goršič, a pair of musicians who have united in the pursuit of greatness. As a unit, the pair writes original 80s-influenced pop, rock, and reggae that references stars from those days like Thompson Twins, UB40, Culture Club, and The Blue Nile without ever feeling like a generational retread. Cosmic Orphans creates pop music of substance that takes on real-life issues in an artistic way, an approach that’s gaining the group more than a little notice.
The Orphans are currently promoting four songs and their accompanying music videos on YouTube and each one is a fine example of popcraft. “Hollywood Is Mine” is a paean to the glorious make-believe of Hollywood’s Golden Era that expresses a deeply-felt yearning for that world that only existed on film. It’s a strong pop/rock track made even stronger by using clips of vintage stars throughout the video. It’s a wonderful introduction to what Cosmic Orphans have on offer and will make anyone who hears it want to keep listening.
“Goodbye Michelle” lives on an alarmingly-catchy bit of dream-pop territory somewhere between The Beatles and UB40. The song puts McCartney-esque melodic and lyrical whimsy on top of a gently-percolating reggae pocket and the result is the greatest breakup singalong in music history. The lyric video that goes along with the tune only underscores just how much pop genius this song contains. The track would have been a major hit in the early MTV days and should be one today. It’s the kind of intelligent pop people say doesn’t exist anymore, yet here it is.
“The Ballad of Sgt. Gray” taps into the emotional story of someone who never came home from the war in a manner more expected from Roger Waters than a pop/reggae duo but is a huge success, nevertheless. The song and video work in concert to create a moving short-film experience with a top-notch earworm as a theme song. Well-conceived and brilliantly executed, the track shows a mastery of craft blended with an authenticity of emotion and will move you to tears.
Right after that, “The One” shows up to get your mood back up in the clouds. “The One” is a love song, plain and simple, and again displays deep, sentimental feelings in a genuine and dignified way. The track is extra catchy, has a great bassline, and truly soars. Cosmic Orphans’ mix of outstanding vocal melodies, songwriting chops, and hip-shaking rhythms is absolutely addictive and any one of these songs will immediately turn your head. Taken as a whole, they point to something big on the horizon. If you’re smart, you’ll keep this talented twosome on your radar.