Zooey Celeste Shares New Single “Cosmic Being”

Southern Californian musician Zooey Celeste shares the new single, “Cosmic Being,” from his ATO Records debut album, Restless Thoughts, and announces two shows in Los Angeles at Bardot-Hollywood for KCRW Presents School Night on Monday, October 23rd, and Genghis Cohen on Friday, November 10th.
Produced by longtime friend and acclaimed producer Nick Hakim, “Cosmic Being” is one of the oldest songs on Restless Thoughts and furthers the dark and ethereal sounds displayed on lead single “Restless Thoughts.” With a punchy bassline and drum machine underlying Zooey’s orchestral vocal performance, “Cosmic Being” originated from another improvised moment of clarity. “It lived as a voice memo for years and then I brought it to Nick, it became another example of his taking something very small and intimate and giving it this huge amphitheater sound.”

Both resplendent and elegantly restrained, “Cosmic Being” also served as a breakthrough in Zooey’s songwriting, striking a rare balance of sincerity and idiosyncratic expression. “That song felt like the beginning of moving toward writing lyrics that are earnest and inspiring but still hit hard,” he says. “I think anyone in the pop world can write a sad song and sell it; I’m more interested in writing something positive in a way that’s completely genuine and feels really good to listen to.”

Restless Thoughts is the real-life manifestation of its creator’s alter ego — an astral shaman responsible for leading the newly departed into the great beyond. After dreaming up the character of Zooey Celeste in a feverishly written novel he refers to as “somewhere between Quentin Tarantino and the Bhagavad Gita,” Zooey began working  to create this ideal soundtrack for nocturnal driving, an immediate conduit for lasting transcendence. Alongside Hakim, Zooey enlisted a wide array of guest musicians to flesh out the sound of Restless Thoughts, including Unknown Mortal Orchestra bassist Jake Portrait, drummer Abe Rounds (Andrew Bird, Blake Mills, Devandra Banhart), and Columbian-Canadian singer/songwriter Tei Shi. Mastered by Heba Kadry (Ryuichi Sakamoto, Björk, Julianna Barwick), Restless Thoughts endlessly drifts between avant-punk and chamber-pop and lo-fi psychedelia, quickly drawing the listener into a sustained dream state.
With the release of Restless Thoughts, Zooey hopes to instill the audience with a similarly expanded sense of possibility. “Making this record showed me that if I’m not going beyond what the world has handed me as options, then I’m not being creative,” he says. “I went as far as I could with the process of self-exploration, and I felt fully supported in that—almost like everything was a little bit fated, or we were tapping into something in the ether. I’d love it if that inspired other people to go off and do whatever they feel compelled to do, and let themselves be completely entranced by it.”

Photo Courtesy: Korey Dane