Guilherme Cosme – They Call Me Names: Avant-garde singer and composer Guilherme Cosme has released his second solo album ‘They Call Me Names’. Following the success of his debut album ‘Persephone and the Ghost Brother’ in October 2022, this new 13-song album promises to capture the mesmerizing artistic soundscape that has defined Cosme’s capabilities as a composer. With mixing and mastering by Sefi Carmell, who has worked with the likes of David Bowie, Michael Buble, Massive Attack, Bruno Mars, and BB King, ‘They Call Me Names’ is a tour de force of musicality and introspection.
The album opens with ‘Icarus’, a deeply emotional ballad that showcases the rich baritone vocals of Guilherme Cosme, accompanied by a beautiful string ensemble. The second track, ‘Mongrel’, delves into the physical abuse suffered by the singer during his childhood, accepting being called a “mongrel” by his foster family as the better reality than being orphaned. The third track, ‘Tony’, continues Cosme’s exploration of past trauma through a beautiful piano sequence and enthralling strings, presenting the story of a boy named Tony who suffered similar abuse as a child.
Continuing the personal side of the album’s narrative, ‘Boogeyman’ is a song about spiritual abuse and explores the fear of the devil that was instilled in Guilherme Cosme during his upbringing as a Seventh-Day Adventist. ‘Pornographic Touching’, the focal point of the entire album, is fueled by Guilherme Cosme’s motivation as an artist to face and tame his demons. The track explores the trauma of sexual assault experienced by his foster brother when they were children, a tragic event that would eventually lead him to write the other tracks in ‘They Call Me Names’ as a cathartic experience.
‘Via Crucis’ tackles the subject of religion as a central part of the composer’s upbringing and the struggles that came with forcing beliefs that didn’t necessarily reflect him as a person. ‘Doubter’ explores living life surrounded by the negativity of growing up in a toxic environment and how these events inevitably shaped Guilherme’s adult life.
‘Mockingbird’ takes the album in a different direction as a more meditative turn, with a song about hope for the next generation, going beyond traumas and finding solace. The title track ‘They Call Me Names’ ultimately acts as a beacon of hope, seen through the prism of one’s older self, promising to “strive to tame your sorrow”. The second last piece ‘Flying Boots’ is an ambient track that offers a message of hope, strength, and light when facing one’s darkest fears and struggles.
The album ends with the bonus track ‘Altar Boy’, where Guilherme Cosme denounces the crimes committed by Catholic priests against children. In this mind-blowing track, the singer divulges the names of convicted child rapists such as Ivan Payne and Brendan Smyth who molested at least 150 children in parishes in Ireland, Belfast, and the United States. Cosme marks his position against a social institution that uses its power to lure and exploit the vulnerable.
Overall, ‘They Call Me Names’ is an intimate and passionate retrospective into child abuse, neglect, and childhood trauma, and Guilherme Cosme’s unique way of confronting his own demons and reaching out to those who struggle with similar stories and backgrounds. Conceptual in design and beautifully avant-garde in its execution, the album is set to leave a mark on the experimental scene. Follow Guilherme Cosme’s socials for future updates and upcoming releases.