A looping wave like something out of a dream, it’s almost impossible to appreciate “Infinite Trips,” the first track off of Cosmic Logic, without telling yourself “this is the first track off of Cosmic Logic.” While opening tracks usually set the stage for an album’s basis, this one does no such thing. Listeners must suspend judgement and take this rather unassuming song as the prologue to something out of this world.
It’s safe to say Peaking Lights produced this Weird World record, out last Tuesday via Domino Records, much like a Tootsie Pop with too much Tootsie: the center is chewy and overpowering yet oh so good. Te crux of Cosmic Logic begins with “Telephone Call,” a song that sounds like a recording of aliens probing the unfortunates. What vocalist Indra Dunis lacks in dynamic vocal presence, she makes up for in worldly — cosmically — lyrical psychedelia and eerie musings.
Krautrock, dance tunes, space jams, experimental, Peter Gabriel’s surprise lovechild with Feist… call it what you wish, but the song remains the same. It’s almost disrespectful to slap a genre on Peaking Lights, a common plight that befalls synth rockers. The electronic scene has an infinite sphere of undiscovered sound embedded in 0s and 1s; multi-instrumentalist Aaron Coyes is a scientist of these insane discoveries, and Cosmic Logic is his Frankenbaby.
The record hits a sort of climax at “Dreamquest,” a swirl of ecstasy-flavored ice cream tonally eliciting both the ethnic and native in us all. The mood flips halfway through, as if a sexy jazz man has just grooved into the room, and Dunis chants what we all chant in our dreams: “wake me, I’m dreaming.”
Lyrical themes are sophisticated on Cosmic Logic. Musically, the record envelopes ears in watery bubbles of slide guitars and squeaky percussive breakdowns courtesy of Coyes. As the wave rides down rapidly like an uncertified rollercoaster, songs like “Breakdown,” “Bad with the Good,” and “New Grrl” are sassy and powerful. The latter contains the voice of an angry activist waging her war at the chauvinistic earth.
Despite the gems that sparkle throughout, Cosmic Logic can get a bit slow. Sometimes, we’re left in a repetitive cycle of funk that approaches a threshold and then just sits there, waiting for some emotional glint that doesn’t solidify until the closing track. And then we receive it — Cosmic Logic ends exactly how it is supposed to — with a golden bookend. “Tell Me Your Song” is a waltz with some tension in the step; it grows like an out-of-control vine — linearly, blooming into a delta fan.
Cosmic Logic is a record for space cadets who may have hit some dark matter in their musical travels, but don’t expect any off-kilter surprises. This record is a rare yet stable planet.
Article by Jade Theriault