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Song You Need to Know: Kosmetika, ‘Pictures Are Gone’

The first taste of the eccentric genre-hopping Melbourne band’s third album promises much more to come



It’s been a time of change for Kosmetika. Approaching their third album, the Melbourne band wished to create something that sounded like an amalgam of their previous two releases. It helped that it would be released five years after their debut, meaning that their first three albums could form a trilogy of sorts for listeners, an encapsulation of the band’s growth over half a decade.

Where their first album, Pop Soap, featured psych-pop gems that flirted with melancholy, their second album, last year’s Illustration, consisted of darker hues, indulging in shoegaze, synth-wave, and even Russian gothic pop elements. (As if to overtly dramatise this transition, Kosmetika’s second album artwork was starkly black and white, much different to the lurid brightness of the Warhol-esque Pop Soap cover.)

So, when it came to creating their new album, the opportunity presented itself to combine what made both of their previous albums – the lighter and darker shades – so fascinating into one formidable collection.

The result is Luxury, an upcoming 10-track collection that could provide a breakout moment for Kosmetika.

Moving into the studio after the DIY recording of their second album, the band worked closely with Erik Scerba on engineering, and it’s a more collaborative effort all round: all five members have contributed vocals and song ideas for the first time, where before Veeka Nazarova and Mike Ellis led the way.

The fact they’re joined in Kosmetika by musicians from some of Melbourne’s best indie bands – James Lynch (Delivery), Dom Moore (Eggy), and Jake Suriano (Dr Sure’s Unusual Practice) – likely made increased collaboration more appealing, and every member is set to get their moment at the forefront on Luxury.

But for now, on lead single “Pictures Are Gone”, it’s Nazarova leading the way once again, as if to gently ease long-time listeners into their new approach.

After what sounds like a shrill note from Goblin’s Suspiria soundtrack, the song quickly melts into a hypnotic pattern, a shoegaze-inflected slow-burning affair. Nazarova’s elusive vocals drift in and out, and the cumulative effect of “Pictures Are Gone” is potent: like sinking into a soothing bath at the end of a long, hard day, you’ll find yourself comfortably dissociating listening to Kosmetika’s creation.

You can watch the accompanying music video below, which was shot on location at the Russian House in Fitzroy by James Morris.

Kosmetika’s third album will be released through Spoilsport Records, the independent Melbourne label that boasts an enviable roster: left-field singer-songwriter Way Dynamic, exciting post-punk quintet Hooper Crescent, and new-wave breakouts Delivery are a few of the must-listen artists currently calling the label home.

Ahead of her debut Australian tour last year, 2024 Taite Music Prize winner Vera Ellen praised Kosmetika. (Although it certainly helped that she was playing a show with the band!)

“Kosmetika are one of those bands that pulls you out of your body into their own fantastical universe. You find yourself transported in a swirl of scathing synths and familiar yet twisted guitar lines. They dip their toe in many genres I personally love but make it their own – bit experimental, bit post-punk, bit art-pop, all immediate, all attitude, all guts, all Kosmetika,” the Wellington-based musician told Rolling Stone AU/NZ.

Kosmetika’s “Pictures Are Gone” is out now. Luxury is out July 12th via Spoilsport Records (pre-order here).