Math-pop Londoners, Cosines, have just released their debut single, Hey Sailor Boy, along with a cool video that has traces of Wes Anderson mixed with a Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer sketch. Released on 7″ vinyl and digital download on the 20th May 2013 through Fika Recordings, it’s an addictive pop song that shows the catchier side of Cosines.
The single was written years back by lead singer Alice Hubley for her fictional band, The Girl Pirates, which, in what must have been a haze of crazy female lust, she imagined included band mates comedian David Cross and Decemberists singer Colin Meloy. However, when Cosines began with the addition of Simon Nelson, Kajsa Tretow, Daniel Chapman and Johnny Drums (according to the press release, but we’re pretty sure that’s not his real surname. It’s probably either Walker, Split or Rotten, which has forced him to contact Deed Poll), Hey Sailor Boy went from bedroom fantasy to recorded and released 60s pop bliss.
The tongue-in-cheek chic lyrics, including “boy I love you, but I’m a girl pirate”, are pretty funny without being too silly as Alice sings about her love for her sailor boy who’s in for nothing but trouble if he stays with her. It’s a well placed metaphor that adds enough depth to the concept to make it smart and funny with parallels with some of the best of The Magnetic Fields.
The song is gassed up on a simple piano stomp that gives it a lot of action, overlaid on top of the metronomic pound of Johnny Drums’ erhh… drums. The clean guitar background flicks are nothing short of brilliant and the addition of strings from Elephant Record’s A Little Orchestra works well to cap the single off with a small pocket of class.
Alice’s vocals are strong, with the rest of the band coming in for the self deprecating chorus of “ah yeah”s. Cosines is Alice’s latest band having been a part of Arthur and Marta and The Loves – the latter with both Dan and Johnny.
There’s more influence from The Loves in the directorial dictations for the Hey Sailor Boy video from the former front man, Simon Stone. It’s a funny music video with dancing pees, the trademark crack scene, cinematography on a budget and two of the campest bearded sailors we’ve ever clapped eyes on.
Cosines, Hey Sailor Boy single review: 4/5