Saturday, October 21, 2023

Genre-Defying Tired Cossack Releases The Highly Anticipated Album ‘I Know I Guess’

Consistently impressing audiences with creative flares and exhilarating endeavors, accomplished Ukrainian-Canadian artist, Tired Cossack is at his peak with the release of the highly anticipated album 'I Know, I Guess', oozing with vibrant artistry and showing off his knack for good songwriting.

Hailing from Winnipeg, Canada, Tired Cossack skillfully melds post-punk, shoegaze-infused indie rock, and a dash of alt-country flair into his music. His work is a refreshing departure from conventional musical norms, characterized by a straightforward and uplifting atmosphere that flows like an effortless journey.

In his varied sonic repertoire, he weaves together themes of both elation and sorrow, seamlessly blending intense, nearly industrial rhythms with clever songcraft that pays tribute to Ukrainian folklore. Tired Cossack's exceptional versatility as an artist invites listeners to explore a diverse array of genres and sentiments within his discography.

Opening the entire album, ‘Sardines’ sets an enchanting and intriguing tone by fusing post-punk elements with country, giving the album an unrefined and intimate feel. Cosssck’s vocals radiate a soulful allure, maintaining a pleasing and harmonious balance between joviality and melancholy. 

‘New Binge’ steers more towards a rock orientated sound, steering clear of the country elements of the previous track. Cossack focuses specifically on post-punk, taking a grunge undertone by using very prominent rhythm sections through an excellent bass line. This bass line goes beyond mere background support, in fact it takes the lead to carry the main melody of ‘New Binge.’ The guitars are embraced with distortion and leaning into riffs and power chords to convey a weariness of the world. 

Cossack strips back and almost reinvents his sound in ‘Cowboy’ cleverly steering away from the heavy distortion and post-punk tendencies, focusing more on a hazy, dream-like tune that has clear influences of pop and shoegaze-infused indie. What is so clever about ‘Cowboy’ is it highlights Cossack’s ability to dip in and out of genre

Seamlessly, offering a level of familiarity within his distinct vocals but masked in harmonious melodies, a compelling rhythm with just the right touch of serenity. 

‘Upper’ boasts an outstanding beat, seamlessly evolving into an authentic 80s-inspired soundscape. Cossack crafts an engaging melody by blending jangly guitar riffs with a prominent drum rhythm, perfectly capturing the essence of the 80s and infusing the song with an upbeat, delightful vibe for an enjoyable and whimsical listening experience. 

‘Dingo Starr’ presents a fusion of post-punk meets new wave, where Cossack adeptly borrows from both genres to craft an eccentric and layered track. He combines lively rhythms with unique electronic textures, resulting in a mesmerizing, psychedelic atmosphere. Whereas ‘Downer’ takes an acoustic approach, simple guitar strumming with echoing vocals for a haunting sound.  

‘Korean Baseball’ continues on with an element of psychedelic interwoven with indie rock but with a country twang. Despite its straightforward structure and genre-blurring nature, ‘Korean Baseball’ exudes optimism, embracing the day even in the face of emotional lows, as expressed in the lyrics”I have a think about the future, which is okay because it’s never present.” Cossack skilfully employs guitar reverb to add texture and depth to an upbeat tune.  

‘Upper’ isn't the sole track deeply influenced by the 80s; Cossack revisits this era in ‘Tin.’ Despite drawing from similar inspirations, "Tin" offers a fresh perspective with its fast-paced, heavy infusion of new wave elements. This track beautifully illustrates Cossack's ability to explore various musical elements and genres while consistently taking a unique approach each.

‘Sleepy Beepy’ is a dynamic indie-rock gem, featuring guitar-driven melodies and a robust bass and drum combination that adds depth to the composition. Cossack employs repetition and subtle pauses in a clever manner, enhancing ‘Sleepy Beepy’s’ structure, the result? An undeniably catchy song. ‘Voice’ closes the album, a high point to the album reaching its climax. Cossack creates waves and emotion by employing hazy pop with distorted moments to create a dream-like soundscape and a deep contrast in order take listener’s on an emotional roller coaster. 

Tired Cossack demonstrates throughout ‘I Know, I Guess’ a mastery of genres, consistently challenging conventions and exploring diverse musical styles to convey profound messages while showcasing his exceptional talent. 

Ana Joy King


Image: ‘I know, I Guess’ Official Album Cover

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