The Verse’s Lorenzo Ottone had a chat with singer and guitarist Camella Agabalyan of Cosmic Strip. With their blend of space themes, 1960s French pop and 1990s psych topped with flawless aesthetic are one of the most promising next big things.
What I really like about Cosmic Strip is the name. Catchy, entangling and catapulting you in the world Camella has created. You already know there are going to be space references mixed with French 1960s pop flavours. Finally someone who is not using an implicit and well-promising name just to masquerade the average ‘10s indie-rock.
As Camella says: “The name is an amalgamation of Comic Strip, my favourite Serge Gainsbourg song which also references my French roots/origins as I grew up in Paris and also Cosmic Trip which is supposed to reference the sound, look and feel of the music we play.”
Cosmic Strip’s fascination for space is genuine. As a someone coming from the 1960s or – as she is – fascinated by them, Camella believes ‘space is the future.’
According to Camella, starting writing songs for Cosmic Strip two years ago has been an ‘out-of-this-world’ experience. She says: “Our music has always been written because we want people to be able to feel like they can shut off and lift off to another world.”
If Cosmic Strip music had to be filed under a genre as for journalists or record shop owners’ obsessions, that would be (neo) psychedelic, especially given the space references.
The ethereal element, though, does not get stuck in a pure tribute to ‘60s music. Simply by listening to Insomnia, you can say Cosmic Strip’s intention is to go beyond that decade and to give a contemporary indie touch to its production.
As Camella explains: “A lot of our music references ‘60s music but we’re also inspired by our youth and find a connection with some amazing bands from the 1990s that took the psychedelic movement and made something new out of it. We like to think we mix both eras and add a sparkle of modern influences to make Cosmic Strip.”
Another element which makes Cosmic Strip immediately interesting is the strong look, something which is space-dreamy and glittering, Parisienne and trendy as out-of-a-catwalk at the same time with the lightness of pop.
Talking about Cosmic Strip image, Camella says: “I creative direct everything myself, everything stems from Cosmic Strip. It’s important to us to build a world around the music we play as we want to captivate every Cosmic Stripper and make them forget everything else.”
Another recurring theme influencing Cosmic Strip’s writing is oriental culture. Despite certain Spaghetti Western echoes and the use of western/ country sounds in Eternal Sunshine, America is not of any inspiration for Cosmic Strip.
Camella says: “America has a strong hold on all of us in terms of music, fashion, culture but we like to think most of psychedelic bends reference perhaps a more oriental side to us which are closer to our roots than America.”
Cosmic Strip are fresh from the launch of their new single Love Heroine at The Lexington, London, and look ahead to new dates. Next live duties include Brighton Great Escape Festival on 18th-20th May 2017 where Camella has already performed in the past.
She says: “We love Brighton as we all have close affiliations to this city, it’s definitely our favourite place to play after London as people are very invested in the music scene. We’ve just played The Green Door Store last month. We’re also coming back in July to play Sticky Mike’s.”
The future may bring an album, but Cosmic Strip – despite all their space references – are well anchored to the ground. Camella has got no rush. She says: “We’re still experimenting with so many sounds when we get to the point where we do an album we want it to be perfect.”
You can listen to Cosmic Strip here: https://soundcloud.com/cosmicstrip