Music Reviews // Carly Cosgrove – See You in Chemistry
Music Reviews // Carly Cosgrove – See You in Chemistry

Music Reviews // Carly Cosgrove – See You in Chemistry

Philadelphia has given the world some of the most well-known emo bands, but none are as remarkably fresh as Carly Cosgrove. Their debut album, See You in Chemistry, turned one year old recently, so I revisited it for a review. The band is comprised of Lucas Naylor on vocals and guitar, Helen Barsz on bass, and Tyler Kramer on drums. Aside from their music, the band is known to have a bass drum that reads “Fuck Dan Schneider” (the former Nickelodeon executive accused of hypersexual practices) and for the Nickelodeon themed titles for their songs.

The album is comprised of 11 songs, with a thread all through the lyrics of a person struggling with and learning to manage mental illness. The lyrics speak about coming to terms with isolation, paranoia, anxiety, alternate personalities, and self-sabotage. The songs may have Nickelodeon themed titles, but the subject matter itself is very adult and universal.

The biggest banger on the album is the second song, Munck. It has driving drums and bass throughout with excellent word play in the lyrics. “I just wanna do the right way, my way” resonates with the listener. There is a moment near the end when the song breaks down a bit into delicate guitar picking with a superbly delicate bass accompaniment. Another banger on the album is Headaches. This song comes after an incredible transition from Cloudblock that almost makes Headaches feel like the second act of one long song. The album ends on a more hopeful note with See You in Chemistry. The lyrics to the song express a growing resilience and confidence.

Some of my favorite emo lyrics come from this band. Gems like “I put the stick in the spoke now everything hurts” in Rue the Day. Really Big Shrimp has a wistful section “I cherish a time when nobody paid attention and I sang, and I played, and I vented and twenty-five people shrugged.” Then there is Chowder with “I want everyone to love me, I’ll do anything to prove it.” Finally, there is the titular See You in Chemistry with “I am gonna find my footing, I don’t want to care which way God’s looking.”

Throughout the album the band shows how skilled they are with plenty of bright guitar, both mellow and driving bass, and boisterous drumming. Lucas’ vocals are at times gritty and intimate, and at other times soaring and bold. They all play together beautifully as a band and their hard work on the album is evident with a world class product.

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