Cosmopolis’ “Parasite” Has A New Host

By Zoe Elerby

Cosmopolis is an international band based all around the world, from Australia, Belgium, and England. The three musicians collaborate both virtually and in person if the time is right. Cosmopolis is not restricted to one area, they have the privilege and passion to create great music even if they are not in the same physical space.

With just over 1,000 listeners on Spotify, Cosmopolis has just begun their commitment to brand new music in 2023, starting with their new single “Parasite” which was released on March 3. The track’s title is reminiscent of the 2019 film directed by Bong Joon-ho. Listening to the song and comparing the concept of parasites in recent media made diving into Cosmopolis’ “Parasite” an interesting listen.

The concept of a parasite is that something is using something else – a host – for its own benefit at the host’s expense. Common parasites include ringworms and tapeworms. Over the past several years, creators have been using the concept of these malicious organisms to discuss subjects on a social level. Joon-ho’s film Parasite is about a poor family “invading” a rich family’s home in order to survive and vice versa the rich family is using the poor family for their own benefit. Something is taking advantage of something else.

Cosmopolis’ “Parasite” centers around the perspective of the parasite themselves. Our vocalist is the parasite, however, the context that they’re in is vague enough that it can be applied to multiple different stories. The song begins with a haunting instrumental, each instrument calculated in their introduction to the track. There is a jarring guitar followed by a slow, heavy drum beat.

“You held my hand / You told me it was over / But if I die there’s no escape / I’m taking you with me…I know where you live / I know where your children go to school / I know where you live / I know where your children go to school.”

The lyrics feel like stepping around broken glass. Following the heavy drum beats and prominent guitar, there are occasional chimes that make their way into the song as the lyrics are sung. The mood is dark and heavy, but there are glimpses of gentleness added with the chimes. The way the vocalist deliberately pronounces each word, slowly and clearly, so that the listener hears every word.

The lyricism is somber, like yearning for a love that will never be, but the words take a dark turn after a few beats of the instrumentals. The vocalist – the “parasite” – seems to be threatening the listener with the personal information that they know. This gives the song a brilliantly tense feeling in the middle of listening. As previously stated, the slow deliberate way the vocalist sings the words gives a gloomy energy, but the sudden shift in tone and the subject of the words paint a new unsettling picture.

“Parasite” does an amazing job at musical world-building, the combination of gentle chimes with the somber alternative sound easily enveloping a listener. The slightly vague lyrics only add so much more to this 4-minute track, despite the instrumentals doing a lot of the work, the lyrics hit hard once they take that unsettling turn. Cosmopolis did all of this whilst being musicians from different regions of the world and not always having physical access to one another. That is wildly impressive.

You can listen to “Parasite” on Spotify and other music streaming platforms. You can also find Cosmopolis’ recently released music video for the track on their YouTube channel.

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