You may or may not have heard of Cosmo Jarvis, but he’s been around a while and he’s pretty great. The 22-year-old from Totnes in Devon has just released ‘Think Bigger’, his third album, which features his recent single, 'Love This'.
Cosmo’s second album ‘Is The World Strange Or Am I Strange?’ featured the song 'Gay Pirate's, a fantastic folk song aimed at tackling homophobia. However regardless of the merits of the song, Radio 1, the gatekeepers of commercial success, refused to play it. It would have been big, but instead drifted off unnoticed.
Seemingly, it hasn’t affected young Cosmo, and his third album (released on his own label, 25th Frame) is just as outspoken, with each track being a comment on or musical rebellion against something. ‘Train Downtown’ has been described as a satirical drama about our imminent dystopian future, and ‘Sunshine’ is about contemporary society’s undeserved sense of entitlement. Jarvis once said in an interview that ours is destined to be the worst generation, and his disapproval for modern society is clear throughout the album.
Album opener and lead single ‘Love This’, is not the brash introduction you might expect and is far removed from the sound of ‘She’s Got You’ or ‘Melanie’, his early Youtube hits. However, it’s really good, and despite its MOR sound is well rounded, engaging and certainly one of the best tracks on the album.
‘Think Bigger’ peaks and troughs through undeniable youthful brilliance and occasional petulant childishness. ‘Tell Me Who to Be’ is just a bit too EMO at the core, whereas ‘Lacie’ is a sweet and ingeniously observed ode to an external hard drive, and ‘Whatever’ is musically fantastic, but is lyrically stubborn and a touch immature.
Cosmo Jarvis is clearly a super-bright talent but until the listener can define when he is joking, and when he is screaming in earnest, his brand of activist folk-rock will remain unappreciated.