Having emerged as an exciting new force in the Bristol scene with their early run of singles and EPs, Cousin Kula have now been signed by Rhythm Section and are continuing to float onwards and upwards. Although, on an emotional level, we find them at a low ebb on gorgeous new single “BabyBack”, about which singer Elliott Ellison says:
“BabyBack is about the ups and downs of a long distance relationship, and how it can wear down until eventually fading into a world of abstraction where really your relationship is all through a phone and not physical, or as tangible as it once was. My favourite line is the first of the pre chorus ‘waiting around, for a change, floating, face down, in a lake of lost love’. This for me sums up the whole tune.”
When separated from your beloved, it can feel like you’re missing part of your body and soul, and thus feel lethargic and hopeless, which is exactly where we find Cousin Kula on the languorous “BabyBack”. Ellison begins in an abject mood, wondering “Is my baby coming back or are we done? / I’ve lost track,” while gentle caresses of guitar and drums, bubbles of bass and globules of synth animate his slovenly state. Despite the weight of emotion, Cousin Kula’s delightfully pristine playing keeps the song light and fluffy as a meringue, harmonizing with the singer’s moods but not allowing him to bog the song down. There are the sounds of birds chirping in the atmosphere, and it’s almost like the song is trying to pull his mind off of his gloom and remind him that there’s still plenty of joy to be found. Encouraged by the radiant sounds, he dreams of a secret place where they can go make love, the sparkling and excitable instrumentation supporting this fantasy – before he sinks back down to Earth again in a delightfully bluesy exhalation.