Cosmos – “Hail Mary”

Cosmos is the collaboration between Richard Davies (the Moles, the amazing Cardinal) and Robert Pollard (that Robert Pollard). Their debut Jar Of Jam Ton Of Bricks is out 6/9 via Happy Jack Rock. For fans of smart, singular pop, this is a dream come true … even if you’d never dreamt it. We spoke with Davies about Cosmos and the album closer/Pollard favorite “Hail Mary.”

How did the collaboration come about?
Bob and I had been writing letters for a while and it seemed to mutate into doing some music. To be brutally honest, I am not quite sure how I came to be in a band with Robert Pollard, but all I can say is it’s a lot of fun. Its the ultimate hoax. It’s also nice to be in something I’m not in total control of, or that Bob or anybody else is in total control of. People love to be in control, but in the real world, that’s not how things work — life is kind of chaotic and haphazard, so Cosmos is a slight reflection and intimation of that.

Who named it “Cosmos”?
Bob came up with a series of titles/lyrics/names in his correspondence, and I picked Cosmos out of one of his lists. Other possibilities were The Working Girls, and The Flattering Lights. Cosmos seemed best because it’s No Rules. I always liked Carl Sagan, too.

You wrote all the music. How did you decide which songs to sing/which songs to have Bob sing?
Bob asked if I could write the music and then he’d write his lyrics and sing on it. I thought “that’s sweet.” Most of the way things came out were accidental.

What inspired “Hail Mary”? There are a lot of stories and histories threaded through it.
This song was written in the voice of my mother-in-law Mary, who is currently 83. Mary has a very practical approach to life, having grown up on a farm in the Depression in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, and she gets on well with my mum, because they were both nurses, although they live a long way away from each other (Harwich MA, to Mandurah, Western Australia). Which is another way of saying Mary and Betty are an intimidating force. That was a gift to me, and to Bob, because they cut through a lot of the bullshit.