By: Carrick Wenke
2016 was a huge year for Seattle’s paragon Campana and his quartet Cosmos. In March of that year they beat out multiple other artists at the EMP (now known as the MoPOP Museum) Sound Off! competition, which rewarded them with an opportunity to perform at not only 2016’s Sasquatch Festival, but the end of summer extravaganza, Bumbershoot. Carrying on the considerable momentum into 2017, it’s only right that the two have been slated to perform at the highly anticipated Upstream Festival in May, but not without dropping their debut project Moonshine first. To coincide with Moonshine‘s release, the guys are celebrating the release with a headline at recently re-opened Seattle venue Neumos, joined by fellow Seattle winners Romaro Franceswa, ParisAlexa, and Luna God.
Campana has always been significantly on my radar. Our first time meeting was back in Spring 2014 at the 2014 UW Rainy Dawg Bday Fest through a mutual friend. Shortly thereafter the two of us linked up and chopped it up for an interview where he stated he was releasing music under his crew PLCBO, and that his premiere project was to be coming out soon. What was to happen before that though was a tragedy in his musical partner Nickolvs Thee Ruin passed away in his sleep on July 21st 2014. Campana was able to set up a Go Fund Me account to raise over $5000 for memorial expenses and to complete Thee Ruin’s work that was set to release titled Distant Implosions.
Fast forward to 2016, Campana has fully joined forces with backing band Cosmos, they’ve reigned supreme at EMP Sound off!, what’s on the horizon is them not only performing at Sasquatch but also Bumbershoot, and they release what is looked at by peers and fans alike as a musical masterpiece in the form of Eviction Notice, which tells the story of how Campana lost his best friend, and was evicted from their living situation the same day.
Now it is March 2017, they’re quite on everyones radar, not just mine, and they are releasing their full length album, Moonshine. There’s quite a bit of hype surrounding this album, and it lives up to all of it. From the soulful alternative rock of opener “Northstar” featuring the phenomenal Parisalexa, leading into the dancy quirk of the immediate next track “Mixed Signals”, this conveys the what exactly you get when you go to a live Campana/Cosmos show. It’s rare that a musical artist of any genre can showcase the power of their live performance in the studio, but it’s proven that all of these different live settings Campana & Cosmos have been in has given them incredible chemistry as not just a “rapper” with a live instrumentation, but your classic band. Track 3 was probably my favorite, featuring another one of my local favorites MistaDC, and it is truly what I think 3 stacks would have been capable of had Outkast kept the direction of Speakerboxxx/Love Below and lasted a little longer.
Now I’m not gonna review every track because I want whoever reads this (and everyone in general) to listen to each song on this project in order, all the way through and take in the genius of this project. However I will let you know that my second favorite track was track 6, the spacey funk of “Silver Lining”.
Honestly, there’s some albums that I hear now where I feel like words can’t describe the music, and I was able to this time to an extent because I was basically writing what I was feeling as I listened to the project all the way through for the second time. The first time I listened to this I was left speechless, therefore everyone is required to listen to this two times over, and if you don’t/do and can’t find something you like in this ocean of style, I can’t take your opinion on music serious.
Come party with us @ Neumos and celebrate the release of this landmark on 4/20.