Living Without You is the 3rd full length album by Vaporwave/Experimental artist Cosmic Sans愛. This is their first album on their new label, hypersleep sessions. Living Without You is described by the artist as: “The cosmic loss of the other half of a soul.”
As crazy as a description like that sounds, Cosmic Sans愛 almost delivers on this grandiose promise. Throughout this album I will be using “The Man” as a description of the main character in the story told by this album.
The track titles themselves help us understand the main idea of the story. Someone who has lost love, and everything.
The story starts in a positive light, with “Life is a Never Ending Cycle”. The opening track has a happy and peaceful feel, welcoming you to the story in a positive light with light Saxophones and soft vocals.
Unfortunately, the song is in Japanese, so I am unable to translate exactly what is being said. Using context clues, I can tell “The Man” is feeling happy being with his lover. The next track,” So Why Do We Go On?” starts with a Japanese man says something with background music resembling a news broadcast.
I’m unsure what he says or how it adds to the story. “So Why Do We Go On?” is a lush orchestral song that brings back memories of walking along a deserted trail, with no worries, feeling carefree and happy. But between track 2 and 3, something happens.
Using musical context clues again, we can assume that “The Man’s” lover left him. Track 3, “I Spent A Lifetime” is best represented as “The Man” trying to get his lover back, in the form of a pop song with a sample by Carly Rae Jepsen.
In the song you can feel his pain, letting his lover know that he has no plans on leaving her life. The song starts to distort and crumble towards the end, along with the world of “The Man”. His lover leaves him, and he is left with nothing.
This is the point where the album gets emotional, as “The Man” loses his love, and everything he had. Track 4, “Trying to Find You” shows “The Man” at his lowest point.
The song only consists of a haunting piano melody and sounds we can assume to be “The Man” crying and pleading. Background white noise helps us to assume that he is outside, crying in the rain. The song conveys that he has truly lost everything. However, the album switches gears with track 5, “Calling Out for You”. Here, the dark atmosphere continues, but with more structure.
The song has “The Man” saying “I’m calling out for you”, on repeat. As the song progresses, the words become more glitched, and we can assume his call is getting no response.
Track 6, “Along in a Crowded Room,” is the most experimental track of the album. It perfectly captures the feeling of something humanly impossible.
Feeling trapped in your thoughts, while still being in a full room. You can hear sounds but can’t decipher them. You can faintly hear the voices in the room, but they feel so far away.
We understand that it is “The Man” who is having these feeling. Consumed by the loss of his love, and unable to function properly. Track 7, “Without You, What’s the Point?”, we can estimate to be some time later, maybe a month or 2. In this song we can hear “The Man” soulfully singing “I’ll never get over you”, as he still laments that he cannot get over his lover from the past.
At the very end of the song you can hear him repeat this phrase over and over again, as he begins to find the answer. The faint guitar chords mixed with the soft singing are also nice touch.
The final track, “Ocean Breathing Between Us” is mostly in Japanese, so the language barrier strikes again. Despite the language issue, the emotions felt on this track translate. “The Man” sings his heart out on this final track, and I think that he is again trying to win back his lover.
The spacey production helps to add to the emotional performance. The final chorus is a full sing along, where everything comes together for a climatic ending.
Finally, the song distorts and slowly closes. So, what happened to “The Man?” In my opinion, he never does win back his lover, and his mental state never recovers. A sad end to a sad story.
I have a large amount of praise to give this album. It is not perfect, but very close.
“Calling Out for You” goes on for a while and takes a while to get going. “Without You, What’s the Point?” starts with a loud crashing wave that has little to do with the album. But in spite of these facts, it is a dang good album. I freely admit that one may have a totally different interpretation of this album, and that my interpretation may be off base. I have heard of other interpretations based upon the theme of death/ your soul leaving your body. But based on what I heard from the story of the album; I absolutely love it.
It is my current Album of The Year.
The emotional experience this album presents it truly one of a kind. If you like what you heard, then I have good news! Cosmic Sans 愛 has a new album out now on hypersleep sessions! It’s called Deep Strange Journey! But enough promoting, this album is amazing, and I think you’ll love it too!
Cosmic Sans愛- https://twitter.com/hypersleepsesh
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Thanks for reading!
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