Kosoti are a band that are fairly new to me, but their music has already become a huge favourite amongst my music collection. I first came across them after catching Allan Hyslop from the band perform an acoustic session during a Sofar Sounds session earlier in the year (see post Sofar Sounds Newcastle Session 1). There was something about his music that warranted further investigation. So I hit the internet to find out more and my ears liked what they heard!
Kosoti are an unsigned five piece group from Newcastle who’s sound is a wonderful blend of folk/pop with an irresistible depth to their song writing. I will talk about their music later in the post, but first I have been able to catch up with Allan from the band. I had the opportunity to talk about the band, their music and much more. This is what he had to say:
How did Kosoti come together and is there a story behind the name?
Kosoti came together over a few years really. Starting with myself, Allan (lead vocals) & Christos (bass) writing songs together and then having the desire to play them live meaning we had to look for other participants. Through a long process of trying different people in different roles, we settled on having Seth (Lead Guitar), George (drums) and Paul (banjo & Guitars) join us to gig! The name is a bit of a mystery really, lots of ideas came and went and this one just seemed to stick!
I really liking your sound, which musicians/bands are your biggest influences?
I can’t speak for everyone here (the band has very eclectic tastes) but personally I love a lot of guitar based songwriters like Nick Drake & John Martyn being up there with the best. Them, along with bands like Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles were huge influences growing up with my dad playing them in the car on family holidays etc..
What is your favourite song you have written and why?
My favourite song I have written is probably ‘By Your Side’. I wrote this about being seriously ill in 2013. It was written for all the people who supported me through one of the hardest times of my life. People forget that it wasn’t just me that was going through this. It involves everyone in your support structure living each day with you as though it may be your last. The song means an incredible amount to me.
Is there anyone you’d like to write a song with, or collaborate with?
Hard question. Dead or alive?? Ha!. I loved the writing of Jeff Buckley (especially that Hallelujah…..just kidding) and he is someone I would have loved to work with. I think Scott Hutchison from Frightened Rabbit is incredible. The way he creates incredibly bleak but powerful soundscapes really captures my imagination!
What can people expect from a Kosoti gig?
I’d like to think that they come away having felt something for the music. I like people to be able to relate to what we are trying to say and that the sound we create really helps us do that.
What are your future plans and goals for your music?
Plans for the rest of this year are to release the aforementioned ‘By Your Side’ in September in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust which will hopefully make a lot of money for the charity and then start to demo our debut album. It’s about time we got on with that really 😉
The campaign for Teenage Cancer Trust starts on August 1st 2015 and the track will be available for pre-ordering and then released on September 4th 2015. We will be asking as many people as possible to purchase the track (donating as much as they want) and then dedicating it to people that have supported them through tough times in their lives by “tagging” them into Facebook and Twitter posts and ask them to do the same. We hope this will create a “pay it forward” style viral affect and achieve some serious contribution towards a charity close to our hearts.
To purchase a copy of ‘By Your Side’ you can head over to their website by clicking HERE.
Let’s talk about the music of Kosoti and why I am such a fan. Musically, their folk sound which has been compared to Mumford & Sons (what folk band hasn’t these days?) is beautifully arranged to deliver a captivating sound. The melodies they create draw you in and I can confirm that they sound even better when performed live. This supports the wonderful vocal ability that Allan has to offer. Here is a person who puts out his heart and soul when he sings, and the emotional tone he brings is spellbinding. It adds so much to each song which is needed to compliment my favourite element of their music which is the lyrics. Their way with words and how they deliver emotion and depth is a credit to what this band is all about. This can be heard in Kosoti’s new single ‘By Your Side’. As Allan mentioned, this is a very personal song to him which can be felt throughout. Listening to this song is one of those moments when you can hear a singer really connect with the song they are delivering, this gives something special to the listener. I strongly recommend that you purchase a copy of this song.
I have heard the band perform live a few times now and they have a great collection of songs but unfortunately at the moment only a few of them are available to buy (at the usual online stores like Amazon & iTunes). Of these songs I recommend ‘By Your Side’ as mentioned earlier and my personal favourite ‘Bark & Sticks’. This song is special to me as I can relate to the message in the lyrics. It’s about appreciating where you come from (your home town) and even though you think you want to escape from it, it is still home. As we all know, home gives you strength and inspiration to help you through the world.
I know that the band are preparing to embark on a tour so head over to their website at Kosoti.com to find out more (as well as other information). They are a great live band so do yourself a favour and go check them out, you won’t be disappointed. You can also find them at their social media sites at Facebook and Twitter.
From speaking to Allan I can confirm that there is so much more to come from the band. If you are a fan like me then help spread the word about the music of Kosoti. Music this good needs to be heard!