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If you’ve ever met Johnny Cosmic in person, you know firsthand the warmth that emanates from his smile, and it’s immediately apparent how happy he is to be doing what he loves every day – making music. His enthusiasm is contagious, and upon walking into the same room, he’s one of those people that instantly makes you feel happier just looking at him.
I like to think that you can hear pieces of a musician’s soul in everything they create, and when he released his live recording of “Lovely Day” about a month ago, I wasn’t surprised in the least that his voice echoing through on the vintage recording made me stop what I was doing and smile.
(I’d recommend watching it here before you read about it below – you’ll have an entirely new appreciation when you hear the story behind it!)
Johnny’s song, inspired by the 1956 classic “It’s a Lovely day” by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, is perfectly vintage sounding, with all the heartwarming crackles and pops you hear on old records. Paired with Johnny’s playful and heartwarming way of telling a story, this song is even more special because of where it was recorded.
Recorded live at Third Man Records in Nashville, Tennessee in their vintage recording booth, the song was pressed immediately onto a 6-inch phonograph disc as he played. (For those of you who don’t know what Third Man Records is, it’s a famous record store/recording booth/live venue founded by Jack White of The White Stripes.)
The song alone has the power to take you straight back in time to the ‘40s (when the booth he recorded in was created), and showcases Johnny’s iconic, soothing and electrifying voice. But even more incredible than the song itself is the stop-motion animation video that John painstakingly drew from scratch.
As I spoke to him the other week at the opening show of the KBong tour, he told me how he hand-drew every single picture (each a frame from the video) on a whiteboard he purchased at the dollar store, and when all was said and done he had to draw over 700 frames! (Besides this being an epic feat in itself, the hippie in me is stoked he drew it all on a whiteboard and didn’t waste any paper.)
The video features friendly aliens on a journey to bring peace, love, music (and puppies) to the universe, and they even battle a less-friendly misguided alien who wants to destroy things and ruin their day. Besides being a whimsical and heartwarming story to accompany the song, it’s absolutely frigen amazing how much work Johnny put into creating the entire thing – stop-motion animation is not easy, and is insanely time-consuming.
The level of musicianship, creativity, and most importantly fun that John brings to everything he touches is truly inspiring. Thanks for another masterpiece my friend, here’s to many more!
Brendan and the Hill Kid fam
Make sure to connect with John on social and listen to other stuff he’s worked on below!
Song Collaboration w/ Maggie Kubley on Stone Soup Vol. 2: https://soundcloud.com/davidforal/stone-soup-vol-2
Tons of Awesome Johnny Cosmic Originals and Remixes: https://johnnycosmic.bandcamp.com/