Mondo Cozmo announces fourth studio album 'IT'S PRINCIPLE!,' due August 30

Article Contributed by Big Feat PR | Published on Saturday, June 15, 2024

Today, Mondo Cozmo — the enigmatic musical force who commanded notoriety via critically acclaimed albums including, Plastic Soul and number one single “Shine,” announced the release of It's PRINCIPLE!, a varied, grizzled, intense, sincere and intricate rock album produced by  Mark Rankin (Queens of the Stone Age, Adele) due for release August 30 via Last Gang Records. It is an album destined to further elevate this singular singer-songwriter to unprecedented heights.

Coinciding with the announcement, Cozmo released “Wild Horses” which stomps us into oblivion with swaggering guitar, pounding drums and the most impassioned vocal performance of his career. The track was premiered by Under The Radar who praised the track stating, "Cozmo’s classic rock influences run throughout the track, whether in the swaggering rhythms, yelped vocal ad-libs, or the bluesy guitar lines... 'Wild Horses' is lean and aggressive, stomping onward with muscular percussion and a fuzzed-out guitar solo. On its surface, the track is all confidence and bravado, however, that jagged edge falls away in the track’s final moments, revealing an aching undertone to the song as it fades into a longing piano ballad." Listen HERE.

Cozmo released a striking music video alongside the track portraying an office worker's wild survivalist fantasies shot in the rugged Californian wilderness. Watch it HERE.

On the video, Cozmo stated, “I really think music videos are dumb. I don’t get 'em and I’ve never been good at them. I told Andrew van Baal (director) “I’ll do anything you ask me to do.” This has been the motto for the whole album. Let’s step outside our comfort zone. Let’s hire the right person and let them cook. Let’s take a risk. I love the way the video turned out and I look forward to being a meme in my family’s group text.”

Mondo Cozmo, also known as Josh Ostrander, began his career as part of bands Laguardia and then trio Eastern Conference Champions. The latter experienced a degree of success, with a song featured on the Twilight soundtrack. But that wasn’t enough for the Philadelphia native. Soon, the band split and Ostrander began recording under the moniker Mondo Cozmo. Now on his own, he did everything it took to survive in order for him to make his music successful. He slept on sofas, cut costs when possible. Like all good things, success came after many years of hard work.

Cozmo has released a series of acclaimed albums including the critics darling Plastic Soul, which landed him number one single in “Shine,” and helped him find fans from Butch Vig to Bruce Springsteen, who praised his songwriting in a New York Times article. He has landed and lost major label deals, and opened for pretty much every band in America. He then forged an independent path, releasing more critically acclaimed albums, and punched a glass window in a fit of frustration and nearly ended his career.

Various speed bumps like this spurred a transformative journey for Cozmo, one he remarks followed a brief stint opening for indie rock band Spoon on tour, and witnessing their remarkable mid-career reinvention, decided he must follow suit. “I was lucky enough to tour with Spoon before they went in and recorded Lucifer On The Sofa.” Stated Cozmo, adding, “I believe I witnessed a reinvention with the band that I found stunning. From artwork to production to internal decisions - I knew what I needed to do and I used it as a hand guide for It’s PRINCIPLE!.  I’ll forever be thankful to Spoon.”

Cozmo then took bold steps, parting ways with his manager of 15 years and immersing himself in the world of acclaimed producers and engineers. Thanks to the power of social media, he connected with Mark Rankin (Queens of the Stone Age, Iggy Pop, Weezer, Florence and the Machine). After some preliminary work zapping files back-and-forth before heading to Cozmo’s studio near Lake Arrowhead.

As Cozmo/Ostrander wrote the songs that comprised the album, the impending death of his dog, Cozmo, weighed heavily on him and served as inspiration. As he felt Cozmo’s time slipping away, Ostrander spent more time with him, including bringing him to studio during the sessions. Much of the album’s lyrical matter addressed the impending death and the emotions he was going through at that time.

Throughout the process, Cozmo was conscious that he needed to make a concise record that was focused, but he had an unprecedented creative spark. He wrote 70 songs. The title track, grimy rocking “It's PRINCIPLE!”, is brazen in sound but sincere in their message, but it began as a song built around a lyric and idea, which in this case was “So I'm slashing tires on Main Street America.”

Its arguably the best song on the album but nearly didn’t make the cut. Since it was one of the earlier songs Cozmo recorded, after sending it to Rankin, he had sender’s remorse. He nearly deleted the song before Rankin responded to tell him that the song should lead off the album.

Fueled by a newfound confidence and determination from positive collaborations with industry giants, the album has a cocksure bluster of an artist that has run out of f**ks to give, and all the better for it. “Killing Floor” is a brawny epic, previously released single, “Angels,” is a wall of sound rock epic with momental lyrics. “Sundown In An Age Of Fear,” is more abstract but contains a refined energy, hard to pinpoint but compelling to its core.

In the end, Mondo Cozmo’s fourth studio album is his most complete and vulnerable body of work. Instead of an ending, it marks a new beginning. Not many artists are fortunate to successfully hit the reset button. Yet, that’s exactly what It’s PRINCIPLE is: an artist, who has been through it, taking a big swing and connecting with an album he believes he made for himself but it would be nice if others like it too.

Cozmo concludes, “I guess I made this record for myself. I mean I didn't play any demos for anyone who absolutely didn't need to be involved. And I actually don’t care if anyone likes it. I mean it's glorious when they do but I think as a defense mechanism I believe I have created this wall to guard the creative spirit. Maybe that's what Rick Rubin was actually talking about when he said ‘make music for yourself.’”



02 Angels

03 Here I Am

04 Wild Horses

05 Killing Floor

06 Sundown In The Age Of Fear

07 July 4

08 New Salvation

09 Leave A Light On

10 I'll Be Around