Often it starts with a flash of inspiration: a couple of kids pick up their guitars and create a masterpiece. Many other times, however, a great debut album is the result of hard work and a lot of patience. Of thinking and rethinking. Of dismissing lots of ideas.
7 Picos belongs to that second group. Cosmen Adelaida released their first EP in 2009. Those five songs were followed a year later by a second EP on which the band started to hint at the direction their career could take. While both of those records were really good, it’s when you hear the first notes of 7 Picos that it really becomes clear that this five-piece from Madrid are destined to be an important band.
7 Picos doesn’t sound like an artist’s first full-length album. The ambition, the sound and the variety should be coming from a band with a solid career behind them. It opens with “Equis”, a bass-driven piece that recalls Stereolab, probably their most obvious influence. The title track is an ethereal trip down memory lane on board the first rollercoaster built in Madrid, called “Siete Picos”. It is followed by “Si quieres, salgo”, a sweet nostalgic song and probably the best thing on the record. The dark side of Cosmen Adelaida is revealed on “El Día” and “Inventario”. The former is one of their most atmospheric songs, and dominated by gloomy female vocals, the latter is an acoustic number (a rarity for the band) and has a deep male voice. If those songs are the night, “Alcobendas”, a catchy indie pop tune, brings back the daylight. “Miss Wisconsin”, the spartan closing track, simply confirms all the good things that we can expect in the future.
The variety of sounds and the fact that all five members take turns as lead singer does not take away from the personality of the record. On the contrary, it all helps the group stand out in a time when most bands are satisfied with a limited musical palette. In one of their earliest songs, Cosmen Adelaida warned that “hay otra manera” (“there is another way”). They were right.