Back and now seemingly in the wild wild west, indie singer/songwriter Buster Baer is offering more gleeful moonshine maunders on his latest single, “Cosmic Kvetch.” Inspired by retro everything, a trait that carries over to the music and how the music is recorded, Baer has been on a steady singles streak since 2020. Consistently tight and compact in runtime, “Cosmic Kvetch” is Baer instead providing a look into what an on-the-road folk tune might sound like if it were one mile away from a close encounter of the eclectic kind.
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When the drums begin going at the pace of falling bullet shells right out of the gate, there’s no telling where the song might end. Baer takes up on the bull ride and speaks from the nasal, sounding like a Venice beach Bob Dylan in the best way possible. The wispy backing vocals show a hint of doo-wop sensibilities while the lyrics wander, coming off as a stream of consciousness rather than a straight narrative. One gold nugget of a line reads, “Like an astronaut calling to Houston / To ask for some space.”
It’s not until the outro that the track comes into its own and leaves you wanting more. According to Baer, he “[turned] into fat Elvis at the end of the song.” The energy is certainly there, but something about the combination of frantic organs, chain gang instrumentation, Buster Keaton antics, and a carefree spirit makes it impossible to tie the song down to one trait or assertion.
And when looking at the entire track, it feels like a song created in the wrong generation hitchhiking with multiple inspirations in search of a singular vision that, by the track’s conclusion, arrives at the desired destination. If Baer chooses to go into a more unhinged, chaotic direction where retro sounds come together and come out on the other end as something refreshingly exciting, then his next release is well worth looking out for.
Words: David Sosa
“Cosmic Kvetch” by Buster Baer is out on all streaming services. For more on Buster and new music, visit him on Instagram and TikTok.