I’ve long held the view that art, and especially music, is one of the greatest gifts in life. It gives we mere humans the chance to delve into and explore some of the complex questions of life and the universe. Melbourne based musician, Dallas Cosmas has this gift, which he has shared with all of us, and that is something we should be thankful for. I recently caught up with Dallas and we talked about his new album, music and art in general. He is an interesting man, which comes across in his music.
Following the death of his father, Dallas took himself away to process what happened and come to terms with it. As a part of that experience he wrote, the result of which is his outstanding new album Alpha Beta Gamma. His aim was not to get bogged down in the doldrums, dragging us all with him. He acknowledges that his experience of loosing a parent is far from unique, but that is the beauty of music, it allows us to connect through the universality of such life events. This album, I think does that. It is deep and contemplative; you know instinctively that this is personal. However, he manages to avoid entirely being maudlin, morbid or melancholy. If anything, there is a kind of life affirming joy throughout the whole thing.
The use of a gospel choir in most of the tracks is a master stroke. It makes the sound grounded, earthy and intimate while at the same time lifting the whole thing up into the cosmos. This was something that apparently the universe conspired to bring about too. Shortly after writing the songs for the album, he was still deciding what to do with them. It was while going to see a gospel choir performing in a church, somewhere in Melbourne, that it became clear that was what his songs needed. Once the decision was made, making it happen came down to mere details. The combination of the idea, plus the magic of this city, which has a way of providing the people you need when you need them, meant that a truly great album was on the way.
As you can probably tell I’m in love with this album. It’s full of contrasts, which I love. It’s simple but has a complexity that reveals itself with each listen. There is a cohesiveness to it that comes from Dallas bringing together a group of co-conspirators to work on it, but at its core it is personal and a singular vision. It’s about the big life events, but its small and intimate.
Alpha Beta Gamma is out now, and available in all the usual places. Give it a listen.