Is that new album still coming in 2017 or did you post FAKE NEWS?! 

I posted fake news. Not intentionally, of course. But optimism did get the best of me back in January, and my confidence that I could complete the next Cosmicity album by the end of this year failed to factor in the lyrical writer's block that would follow.

Yes, writer's block. It happened to me. The album was essentially stalled for the whole first half of 2017. I've been quiet about it because, frankly, I didn't know what to say. I wasn't sure why I was blocked so I didn't know how long it would take to fix it. But it turns out to have been quite an important thing for me to go through. Over the last few months, the lyrics I've written are the most honest of my career. In fact, it's possible that you may initially find them TOO honest. I may come off as a man just whining about his many failures. I may be accused of just funneling my mid-life crisis into an album. And these statements would be difficult to dispute. But, if I've done it right, I believe you'll discover that you also often feel as I feel, whether you're in your 20s, 40s or 60s. Are you ever more disappointed by the world as some of the "magic" of the 21st century proves to be little more than a fairytale we'd been telling ourselves? Dissatisfied with both the hand you've been dealt, and tragically, the hand you've dealt for yourself? Do you ever find yourself longing for more authentic human connection in your life but find that this connection is harder and harder to achieve as time goes on? These are the themes of my mid-life, and so these are the themes of my upcoming album.

And while these themes may seem mostly negative, I believe listeners will be quite pleased to hear that I've intentionally contrasted them with music soaked in synthesized ear-candy. Rising arpeggios, bubbling bass lines, and punchier-than-ever synthetic beats. I've shaped the electronics here in a way that I'm quite proud of. The arrangements are meant to be reminiscent of "Pure" in their simplicity, while the synths and beats are meant to be a leap forward from the work I started on "Humans May Safely Graze". There's more motion in the sounds... more air in the mixes...

But I'm also confident that this album will not be coming out in 2017. I'm sorry about that. The math kind of works out like this:

Even though I'm working at a really good pace right now, I've still got to finish up lyrics on several songs, record vocals for 8 of the songs, finish the programming on all 11 songs, and mix all 11 of the songs. My most optimistic estimate to get all of this done is 4 months, and that would put us at January of 2018. If I then factor in audio mastering (I plan to go to Abbey Road again, or a facility of similar reputation), artwork design (I have an outstanding idea/concept for this and if Jamie Latendresse doesn't agree to design it I will jump off of a bridge), and manufacturing (both CD and vinyl pressings are still possible), that probably puts the release in March of 2018. However, that's based on the optimistic estimate. If we're being realistic/pessimistic, then all of that remaining programming and recording may take longer than 4 months. That could push things out until summer of 2018. But that's it. That's as far as it will stretch. After that point I'll be too burned out on the songs to work on them anymore, so it will be done.In summary, yes, I did (unintentionally) post fake news in January. But I'm asking you to trust me that THIS news is not fake: a new Cosmicity album will be released no later than summer of 2018. And you can take that to the bank. (Preferably one that is FDIC insured.)

A new Cosmicity album in 2017 - It's really happening 

At long last, I have exited the demo and experimentation phase of my creation process, and an actual album (with an actual track list and actual song titles) has now taken shape. I still have a mountain of work to do. Most of the songs are only a minute and a half long right now, so they all still need more work / proper endings. And they all still have incomplete lyrics. And sure, none of them have properly recorded vocals yet. But that's what the rest of 2017 is for.

I really just wanted to let everyone know that it is now, finally, truly underway. I know which songs I'm doing and they're cool. These songs are all just... yeah, cool is the right word. If I had to compare this new album - at this point in its development - to another Cosmicity album, I'd say it most closely resembles "Pure" due to my very specific focus on keeping the arrangements as clean and straightforward as I possibly can.

More news on this coming very soon! Oh, and yes I do already have an album title in mind, but I have learned over the years that I sometimes (often) change my mind about album titles very late in the recording process (does anyone else remember that "Humans May Safely Graze" was supposed to be called "Thank The Maker?"), so I'm keeping that working title quiet for a while longer.

PS - For those of you who were following my experimentation phase in 2016 on social media, I will be finishing 5 of the experiments and demos that I had posted samples of. 3 of them were in the big YouTube mashup (https://youtu.be/nIXFar-C6y0) and are specifically Song Demo 12, Song Demo 8, and Experiment 7. In addition, I'm also finishing Experiment 29B that was posted separately on YouTube, as well as Experiment 6, which was posted on Instagram. Thanks for your feedback on these, everyone!

Another new holiday song (from The Nutcracker) 

Happy holidays from Cosmicity once again! Please enjoy this brand new song: "Dance of the Reep Pipes" (a synthpop version of the holiday classic from The Nutcracker ballet by Tchaikovsky). It is available for purchase and streaming from all major retailers. (The first ones who have it up and ready are Bandcamp, CD BabyiTunes, Amazon, and Google Play, but it will be everywhere else in the next day or two.) Oh, and please note that this is a sequel to last year's holiday song "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy". Be sure to enjoy that one too (available in all the same places). Hope you like it!

2016 Q & A 

Q: When are we getting some new music, ya lazy bastard?! 
A: I'm workin' on it! (Long answer: I have been making new musical sketches over the last few months or so, and I will continue to do that for at least a few more weeks. I'm still kind of waiting for the right lyrics / song themes to hit me. After that, I expect I'll really be off and running. I'm thinking it'll either be an EP (maybe 4 new songs) that I try to release this year, or a new full length album, but then it wouldn't come out until next year. Anybody got a preference?) 

Q: What's your favorite brand of socks? 
A: I tend to go with Gold Toe, though I have been thinking about making a switch. You know, just to keep myself guessing. 

Q: Any other Cosmicity news? 
A: Well, this is kind of boring, but I will report that I did a lot of archive and recovery work over the holidays because I realized that the projects for some of the older Cosmicity albums had become corrupt. (For example, most of "The Binary Language of Love" is lost, as well as "Forgive Me My Syns", though I do think I'll be able to salvage some vocal parts for those songs.) This is not really cause for panic, since I do still have the master songs themselves, but it is a bummer because, if I had ever wanted to remake or remaster any of those songs, now I really can't. So I am busily updating and future-proofing all of the still-functioning archives so they will hopefully be healthy enough to outlive me. You never know who might want that stuff in the future, right? 

Q: How many times have you seen "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"? 
A: Four times so far. I expect I'll sneak in one last viewing before it is gone from theaters. It could be months before it is released on blu-ray, so I've gotta get those viewings in while I can! (Yes, I still buy physical blu-rays of films that I really like. They just look and sound much better than streaming. I'll be happy to use streaming exclusively once the quality is up to snuff.) 

Q: This is so boring that I actually can't believe I'm still reading it. 
A: That's fair. Here, let me try to spice it up... with an AWESOME list of all of the things I'm allergic to. Here we go: Shellfish. Mushrooms. Eggs. Yogurt. Beer. Wine. Aged cheese. Asprin. Cats... 
Q: Okay, enough. Are you doing this just to be an asshole? 
A: Kinda. 
Q: So, you know that listing all of your allergies just makes me think of you as even NERDIER than I did before? 
A: Hey, I embrace that. Nerd is what I am. I'll probably see a bump in sales from my fellow nerds who completely relate to my allergies. 
Q: That seems fairly delusional. 
A: Hey, I embrace that. Delusional is what I am. I'll probably... 
Q: Okay, I see what you're doing. 
A: What am I doing? 

Q: Remember when you used to always have a few of your songs posted for free? I liked that because I could send that link to my friends whenever they asked "what the hell is Cosmicity?" Did you stop doing that because you're so f@cking cheap? 
A: Actually, you can still get "Four For Free" on Bandcamp, but it's extremely out of date. I was thinking about updating it with newer tracks (from the last decade). If you wanna suggest the 3 songs that you think are an ideal introduction to Cosmicity, that'd be very helpful. Again, it'd be best if the songs were from more recent years. 
Q: Why do you always expect us to do your work for you? Why don't YOU pick out your 3 favorite songs? 
A: Because I think I'm just too personally invested in them to see them from an outsider's perspective. 

Q: Have you ever thought about doing a VH-1 Storytellers kind of thing? You know, maybe a video or a podcast where you explain what the songs are about and give us some history? 
A: I am DYING to do something like that. But I keep stopping myself because a lot of people tell me that they hate when artists do that - either because they find it boring or because it ruins their personal interpretation of a song once they know the real story behind it. But they may be wrong. There are some really good stories behind most of my songs. (At least, I think they're good stories. Then again, I thought listing out my allergies was compelling prose, so perhaps I'm not the best judge.) 

Q: Is this over? Please say this fake Q&A is over.
A: Indeed it is. Go now in peace and seek out bold synthpop.

New holiday song! 

Happy holidays from Cosmicity! Please enjoy this brand new song and video: "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" (a synthpop version of the holiday classic from The Nutcracker ballet by Tchaikovsky). It is available for purchase and streaming from all major retailers. (The first ones who have it up and ready are CD Baby, Bandcamp, iTunes, and Spotify, but it will be everywhere else in the next few days.) Oh, and in case you're a little short of cash due to the holidays, it completely FREE to download at Bandcamp until Christmas. Hope you like it!

Just how close is the new album? 

The new album is extremely close. Before 2014 is through, you will be dancing in the clubs to "The Anger Remains". Before 2014 is through, you will explore your dark side as "Someone Else". Before 2014 is through, you will "Scream Until The World Gets Right".

Coming soon. So soon. Extremely soon. For real. No lie. Seriously. Trust me. I've really created something. It's actually good. It involves synthesizers. And drum machines. Plus computers. With the occasional iPad. Also a microphone. Because I sang stuff. Lots of stuff. And it means stuff. Emotional stuff. Stuff you'll like. Stuff you'll feel. Pulses you'll feel. Throbs you'll absorb. Swells that sway. Sways that swell. These songs are swell. These songs are for you. And you'll have them soon. #HumansMaySafelyGraze

(For those who listen to Pandora Radio, Cosmicity's 2012 EP "Parlour Sofas" is now available there for your listening pleasure.)
All content © 2017 to Mark Nicholas, aka Cosmicity. All rights reserved.