“It’s communal. If there’s competition, it’s friendly, which is why Carly Cosgrove has done what it’s done, because we have such a supportive culture around us,” says Lucas Naylor of the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection. Naylor is the vocalist and guitarist of Carly Cosgrove, a Philly-based pop-punk/emo trio, whose name and song titles (or at least those of their debut album) are all references to Nickelodeon classics iCarly or Drake and Josh (although the content of each song is quite a bit heavier and headier than those tween sitcoms ever got). Although they’ve been on the scene for a few years now, the band are just about ready to drop their first LP, See You In Chemistry, March 25th on Wax Bodega. Carly Cosgrove will then hit the road for a weeklong run of dates with Retirement Party, followed by a hometown Album Release Show at the First Unitarian Church on April 16th, where they will be joined by fellow 215ers Sweet Pill, Harmony Woods, and NIQU.
I recently chatted with Naylor, in addition to bassist Helen Barsz and drummer Tyler Kramer, via phone to talk about their very first full-length, which has apparently been in the works for about two years. “A big difference between what we have out now and the upcoming album, a lot of it comes down to intention… With our previous releases, we weren’t sure what we wanted to do with it. At first it was a side project to our other bands,” says Tyler. “I think it was definitely a very ambitious undertaking. We definitely scrutinized the minutia of a lot of these songs… and we definitely wrote a lot of this collaboratively,” adds Lucas. Although the band came together when they were all in other bands, the members of Carly Cosgrove tell me that this band very quickly became the focus of the three. “The first time we all met was really at our first rehearsal, but we got really close really fast,” says Helen, before adding, “I think I would want people to know that we’re just a group of best friends who make art together and want to show that to the world.”
When I ask the trio if they have a favorite track from See You In Chemistry, they tell me that they each have their own opinion, and Helen even admits, “Mine changes every other week,” (At the time of our chat, it was “Headaches,” which she tells me is, “really heavy hitting and really fun to play.”) However, Lucas tells me that his favorite track is the album’s first single, “Munck,” an anthem that serves up a generous and delectable portion of early-aughts teen angst, which dropped last November. As much as the song itself, Lucas tells me that “Munck” holds a special place in his heart for what it represents for the band: “That informed how we’d write going forward. We really wanted this to be an album and more than just a collection of songs.”
Of the early highlights of the band, Carly Cosgrove tell me that a lot of them have been live shows, citing their EP Release Show and last year’s DIY Superbowl, which they tell me felt like not only a big moment for the band, but for live music in Philadelphia in general: “When we played the DIY Super Bowl at Underground Arts and that was the first big event since COVID started and the city really came out… It was like a DIY Woodstock or something… That show set the tone for what shows would look like for the future.” And in terms of what can be expected of their April 16th Album Release Show at The Church, without wanting to give away too much, they tell me that local fans can definitely expect something unique and special.
“We’re gonna surprise some people. We’re planning to play the whole album, from front to back… We’re gonna go bananas… We play a lot of instruments that you don’t really hear with a three-piece emo band and we intend to play the songs like they are on the album.”
*Get your tickets here.