Cosmos Sunshine Heidtmann was born on a commune-like hippie settlement located on the banks of the Connecticut River. It was a stripped-down simple life, with no electricity, no phones and an outhouse. Instead of the buzz of electronics and the bustle of city life, he found his time being occupied by long walks in the surrounding woods and losing himself in the stories of the colorful characters who also lived there. He was first introduced to music when his parents took him to see the Summer Jam Festival at Watkins Glen, which featured performances from The Allman Brothers Band, The Grateful Dead and The Band. His was a life of innocence and unfiltered experience, but that all changed when John Lennon was killed.
When news spread of Lennon's death, Cosmos' entire perspective shifted, and he became fascinated by the connections that could be created between people through the power of music. He picked up his first guitar at 14, and by 15, he was writing his own songs and performing professionally. After a brief tenure at Berklee College of Music in Boston, he moved to New York City and became the frontman for Cherokee Sex Workshop and Walkinbird. After musician Warren Haynes handled production duties on Walkinbird's debut record, Cosmos and Haynes developed a mentor-apprentice relationship, with Haynes offering advice and guidance on songwriting, production and guitar theatricality. Amassing a handful of albums and EPs over the years, he'll release his fifth record, "Comes with the Fall," under his Cosmos Sunshine moniker on May 25.
On his latest single, "Letdown," he delivers a jolt of pure rock 'n' roll that rides up your spine before settling down into the deepest parts of your brain. The guitars shake the ground while the drums hammer away at your senses. It's also etched with the dense grooves of vivid psychedelic rock music, a loud and cacophonous rattle that hearkens back to the late '60s and early '70s. But he's not interested in simple nostalgia -- this expansive hard rock roar is its own beast, a careening explosion of emotion and heartfelt experience. "Letdown" seems intent on smashing our assumptions about modern rock and reveals the intrigue and undiscovered depths of a familiar sound.