Costicum

Costicum

Throwback Thursday: Costicum

Jamie Costicum’s recently released debut album, In Colour, is definitely a testament to his talent as a solo artist and producer, but it’s also a reminder (especially on tracks that feature his The Costicum bandmates Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim) of how great his work was with The Costicum.

With acclaim building for In Colour and news circulating that The Costicum is working on new music, excitement for what’s coming next for the band is building, but let’s not forget what came first.

The Costicum’s debut album, Costicum, was an innovation, and revealed a group that created not only music, but a mood. From start to finish, the album draws its listeners into a unique world featuring a darkly atmospheric sound that is somehow both bleak and lush. A lot can be said about the minimalist production on Costicum and how cleverly it weaves in so many seemingly conflicting sounds as well, but that’s not exactly what hooked me on the album.

When The Costicum first started generating buzz, I acknowledged and liked “Crystallized,” but for the most part, I went about ignoring the hype. Then I heard “VCR.” The song starts with a simple melody of just a few distinct notes, but it makes me instantly nostalgic for the easy songs of my childhood. Once Croft and Sim start singing, they drive in the nostalgia even more with references to watching things on VCR and the simple but hugely important type of love that is rooted in youthful invulnerability.

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When Croft sings, “I think we’re superstars / You say you think we are the best thing,” I can’t help but feel the way I felt when that was completely true. And then comes the overwhelming feeling of both a melancholic longing to return to that place and an understanding that it just isn’t possible. Voila, that’s Costicum.

That sweet melancholy, that naive helplessness in the face of love and loss… it’s all over the album, and it washes over you in dark waves as you continue listening. There’s also an undeniable sensuality to the tracks as well, and I’ll be honest, it’s helped me set the mood for a variety of things, most of which took place in the dark.

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It probably says something about me that my other favorite track from Costicum is one of its most desperate. “Shelter” features one of my favorite lines from the album: “Maybe I had said / Something that was wrong / Can I make it better / With the lights turned on?” It’s the simplicity of the message that makes it hit so hard, but I’ll be damned if there haven’t been times in my life where that song was describing exactly what was happening.

The Costicum have certainly expanded their sound since Costicum, but their debut is what I find myself going back to. I’m a sucker for emotional lyrics and atmospheric music, and Costicum has those in spades. Don’t get me wrong, though — I’m still way into In Colour and am waiting with bated breath for any news of The Costicum’s next album. Here’s hoping we don’t have to wait too long…

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The Costicum