Avant-Garde Artist Guilherme Cosme Opens Up About Dark Past In Emotional Album ‘They Call Me Names’
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Avant-Garde singer and composer Guilherme Cosme is due to release his second solo album ‘ They Call Me Names' on Friday 21st April 2023. The album follows his successful debut album ‘ Persephone and the Ghost Brother ’ in October last year. The new 13-song album was produced by Guilherme Cosme, with mixing and mastering by Sefi Carmell (David Bowie, Michael Bubble, Massive Attack, Bruno Mars, BB King). ‘They Call Me Names’ captures the mesmerizing artistic soundscape that has defined Cosme’s capabilities as a composer, accompanied by beautiful instrumentations and a baritone vocal, layered with confessional lyrics recounting dark periods of the singer’s life.
The album starts off with ‘Icarus’, an emotionally deep ballad accompanied by a beautiful string ensemble that contrasts nicely with the rich vocals Guiherme Cosme offers throughout the record. Expanding the dark narrative, ‘Mongrel’ dives into the physical abuse suffered by the singer at home as a child, accepting being called a “mongrel” by his foster family as the better reality than being orphaned. The third track ‘ Tony ’ continues Cosme’s exploration of past trauma through a beautiful piano sequence and enthralling strings, presenting the story of a boy named Tony, who suffered similar abuse as a child, and the lack of trust as the result of missing stable parental figures while growing up.
Following the troubles retrospectively, ‘Boogeyman’, a song about spiritual abuse, continues the personal side of the album's narrative in Guilherme Cosme having religion foisted upon him in his childhood. The track alludes to the so-called “boogeyman”, a made-up character mostly used by parents to force kids into good behavior; Guilherme was brought up a Seventh-Day Adventist and his own boogeyman is personified as the devil himself, a fear he holds to this day and yet is still drawn to it, as the “ biggest controversy, always with me ”. The next track ‘ Pornographic Touching ’ becomes the focal point of the entire album, fueled by Guilherme Cosme’s motivation as an artist to face and tame his demons. The track explores the trauma of sexual assault experienced as a child by his foster brother, a tragic event that would eventually lead him to write the other tracks in ‘They Call Me Names’ as a cathartic experience.
‘I Thought I Was Special’ continues the overall story about breaking free from toxic family ties and generational curses accompanied by more hauntingly beautiful strings. ‘Via Crucis’ tackles the subject of religion as a central part of the composer’s upbringing and the struggles that came with forcing beliefs that didn’t necessarily reflect him as a person; a warning against religion being forced onto children in a dogmatic way and encouraging particularly younger and impressionable minds to be left to forge their own beliefs and values. ‘Doubter’ explores living life surrounded by the negativity of growing up in a toxic environment and how these events inevitably shaped Guilherme’s adult life, to be a “doubter”.
‘Mockingbird’ takes the album in a different direction as a more meditative turn, with a song about hope for the next generation, going beyond traumas and finding solace. The powerful lyrics “Take your chance to see beyond your scars, pain, past and solitude” are dedicated to all young people who may be affected by their demons, to give them the strength to face them and not allow them to be tormented forever. This becomes the dominant message of the record, subtly leading to its fitting conclusion in the jazzy instrumental ‘When I Grow Up’, the cathartic ‘They Call Me Names’, and the deeply personal ‘Flying Boots ’.
The title track ‘They Call Me Names’ ultimately acts as a beacon of hope, seen through the prism of one’s older self, promising to “strive to tame your sorrow ”. The second last piece ‘Flying Boots ’ is an ambient track that once again offers a message of hope, strength, and light when facing one’s darkest fears and struggles, a dedication to future generations as explained by Guilherme Cosme himself: “I'm currently in a family forming process and I wrote this song for my son to be. I hope when he grows old and looks back he’ll kindly think of me. Bad things happen but you have a life that was given to you to live.”
The album ends with the bonus track ‘Altar Boy ’ where Guilherme Cosme denounces the crimes committed by Catholic priests against children. In this mind-blowing track, the singer divulges the names of convicted child rapists such as Ivan Payne and Brendan Smyth who molested at least 150 children in parishes in Ireland, Belfast, and the United States. Cosme marks his position against a social institution that uses its power to lure and exploit the vulnerable. "Who's to pay the debt to the dead?" is the final question posed at the end of the album, on reflection of the journey experienced.
An intimate and passionate retrospective into child abuse, neglect, and childhood trauma, ‘They Call Me Names’ is Guilherme Cosme’s unique way of confronting his own demons and reach out to those who struggle with similar stories and backgrounds and most importantly, raise awareness of the pain and suffering many children in these circumstances experience. Conceptual in design and beautifully avant-garde in its execution, the album is set to leave a mark on the experimental scene. Follow Guilherme Cosme’s socials for future updates and upcoming releases.
Guilherme Cosme is a Brazil-born Dublin, Ireland-based experimental psychedelic singer-songwriter and the lead vocalist of the Irish rock band, Mary Bleeds
Source Mastermind PR
April 5, 2023 8:21am ET by Mastermind PR