After having her creativity stifled as a major-label R&B rave-pop artist, Irish singer-songwriter Cassia O’Reilly–who formerly sung under the name Bonzai–has since broken away and re-branded her artistic identity, now making sensual and confident R&B under the moniker Cosha.
Cosha’s newest album, Mt. Pleasant, is a breezy and erotic amalgamation of come-to-bed anthems saturated in tropical beats, jazzy basslines, and confident croons the call back to Prince, CHIC, and Erykah Badu.
The pulsing and mellow opener, “Berlin Air,” sees Cosha juxtaposing desperation and yearning with resignation (“Leave it, let it turn/I’d die in your arms tonight”), her effortless crooning couched in watery synths and cushioned basslines.
The slinky and sexually-confident “No Kink in the Wire” shows Cosha flaunting her self-belief over electric keyboard grooves and sticky 808s. The Rostam-produced “Do You Wanna Dance,” is a sexually-charged “will-we-or-won’t we” between the subject and a potential hookup at a nightclub. O’Reilly’s vocals effortlessly coast along jagged basslines and tropical horn-sounding synths, culminating in one of the most heavenly highlights on the record.
“Run the Track” is a piercingly confrontational chronicling of the paranoia that stems from second-guessing a romantic relationship (“And you’ll miss me in a good way/In a way that only I know”). The production is drenched in reverb and percussive white noise, perfectly mirroring the chaotic innermost thoughts of the narrator. The urgent “Lapdance from Asia,” is an unforgettable ode to erotic yearning with languid guitars and syncopated handclap percussion. But the enduring hedonism evoked in the guest verses from Shygirl was what really drove the track home and brought it full circle.
The production on this album is just immaculate; everything from the malfunctioning-android synths on “Tighter,” to the glitching, drafty drum-machines on “Run the Track,” to the tropical synth-filtered saxophone solos, and Rostam’s eternally funky bass playing.
If this is O’reilly when she’s in the creative driver’s seat, then consider Bonzai properly killed off and this album the final nail in the coffin. This is Cosha’s world and we’re all just living in it.
Favorite tracks: “No Kink in the Wire,” “Do You Wanna Dance,” “Lapdance from Asia,” “Run the Track,” “Tighter.”
Least Favorite Tracks: “Berlin Air,” “Hot Tub,” “Bad Luck.”