Throwback Thursday – “Cosmos” by The Send

Cosmos by The Send

Slacks and a button-down shirt.  That was the required attire every day during my 2007 summer internship.  While I am thankful for all that the learning that opportunity afforded, it was an extremely difficult season of my life.  I realized that a career in the corporate world would likely suck all life out of me, but it seemed the only way forward.  This was my last summer.  This was all I had before real life was over, and what awaited seemed to be gray drudgery until the end.  “This is what I have to look forward to / Work until death – a slow descent through / Carbon copy years smeared together,” to quote  a Hilltops and Coffeeshops song we wrote during that season.

But music is often a panacea, soothing so many aches that nothing else can.  Cosmos by The Send arrived at exactly the right time and did just that.  This Throwback Thursday begins like so many others, hearing a single on Radio U.  When my ears first took in “An Epiphany,” the lead single on the album, I almost felt guilty liking it.  There wasn’t any screaming.  There wasn’t anything hardcore about it at all.  There was a piano.  But it was deep.  I loved it.  It’s hard to explain how someone so entrenched in heavy music feels upon discovering soft, somewhat traditional music they appreciate, or at least it is for me.  It felt like it was too “safe” for me to enjoy it.  The album wouldn’t be released until the end of July.

As the long, hot days passed outside, I sat in my frigid cubicle, coding away and listening to new tracks as they were posted on MySpace.  After only one or two more songs, I pre-ordered and waited.  I won’t say that I expected the album to redeem my summer, but I most definitely looked forward to exploring the complex songwriting and production which took on such deep and personal topics.  Nothing in my life seemed to make sense, and there were few glimmers of hope for the years ahead.  I thought Joseph Kisselburgh just might express some of these things I was feeling.  Occasionally on warm June and July nights, I would go to “the secret spot” (an office building construction site) and just pour my fears and hopeless heart out to God.

When the record finally arrived, it was all I had hoped for and more.  Everything was meticulously crafted, both musically and lyrically.  Acoustic guitar would often lead into subtle verses with tasteful electric leads.  Choruses would fill with piano, remarkable drumming, and moving bass lines.  Each song had a distinct depth and feel without crossing over into lightheartedness.  Impressively, Kisselburgh had composed the entire album by himself, which additionally inspired me as a musician.  But most importantly, it spoke to my heart.  I had songs such as “Drown” to capture this dark and despairing time in my life.

I’m tired of this
Do I exist
I’m a ghost and
I’ve been pacing the halls
I’m tired of it

You remind me how
I begin to drown
You’re the only thing
That can save me now
Life has pushed me down
And it let me drown
You’re the only thing
That can save me now

Other tracks such as “Blocking the Sun,” “Begin,” and “Fire Colors” bear equal significance, though only a single song in the entire collection doesn’t address a weighty subject.  In some ways, it has a similar feel as one of my favorite books in the Bible, Ecclesiastes.  The human condition is explored from many angles, ultimately settling on a foundation of faith in a cause much greater.  Time and again I forget about this record only to rediscover it and remember how wonderful it is in every way.  It most certainly has a spot in my top ten list, though sadly it was the sole effort released by the artist before he faded into obscurity.

In conclusion, this album is a timeless masterpiece which probes the depths of man’s heart.  (Yes, I hold it in that high of esteem.)  I think that any fan of profound lyrics paired with complex, rock-tinged music will love this album.  Do yourself a favor and listen to it on a warm summer night under the stars, letting its beauty soak into you completely.

You can find the immaculately crafted songs of Cosmos on Spotify or Amazon.

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