Country : Germany Label : Genres and styles : EBM / Synth-Punk Year : 2023

Cosey Mueller – Irrational Habits

· by Max Seaton

Have you ever found yourself at the afterparty of the afterparty of a rave, chewing invisible gum and in “very serious” talks about starting an electro-punk band with a bunch of wide-pupiled strangers? If you answered yes, this album might be for you. This might actually be the band you never started. Except it’s not a band, it’s Berlin-based artist Cosey Mueller. And no offense, but it’s probably better than what you and your funky new friends would’ve done anyway. 

On Irrational Habits, Mueller has a way of taking the general feeling of performance anxiety that’s rampant among millennials and translating it into a very entertaining body of work that will resonate with the best of us. The music consists of sort of rockabilly riffs on top of very well-built electronica ditties that’ll make you reconsider your life choices (E.G. keeping on paying for that ever-skyrocketing subway fare or working for anyone else than yourself), vocals that can seem dead-pan in a darkwave kind of way at first, but that end up going up and down in range, exploring the effects-filled soundscape, playing with itself. The general mood ranges from anguish to anxiety to angst and will most probably leave you clenching your jaw and/or biting your nails to the quick.

There’s a clear early house and techno influences as well as an almost maddening sense of repetition found in precursor acts of synth-punk such as Suicide or The Units. One can also detect similar vibes to the ones found in ex-Yugoslavian ’80s synthpop acts such as Beograd and Demolition Group (check ‘em out if you don’t know ‘em already!)

Irrational Habits is the perfect album to listen to while running (either for your health or away from your problems, I’m not judging), or dancing life away, sober or wasted, day or night, alone or surrounded. I don’t know what’s in the water in Berlin these days, but this is yet another record to come out of the city in the last few years that really hits the mark for me. Success.

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