The Beat Goes On

The Cosmic Neighborhood helps revive Tropicália movement

Bellingham-based band creates 'fun and breezy music with a dash of melancholy'
July 25, 2023 at 5:00 a.m.
Contrasting moods, a wide range of influences and sheer talent make Bellingham-based The Cosmic Neighborhood a band to watch out for.
Contrasting moods, a wide range of influences and sheer talent make Bellingham-based The Cosmic Neighborhood a band to watch out for. (Photo courtesy of Isabella Pierson)

CDN Contributor

In the Brazilian genre known as Tropicália, there’s a strong tradition of combining mellow-sounding melodies and instrumental textures with intense, provocative, lyrical content. 

Some of the pioneers of the genre back in the '60s, like Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, even ended up in trouble when their bold lyrical stances came into conflict with the country’s military dictatorship. Bellingham band The Cosmic Neighborhood works within that tradition. 

On first listen, you might be tempted to describe their music as mellow, but there’s actually a lot more going on than you would initially notice. In their own words, it’s “fun and breezy music with a dash of melancholy.” The contrasting moods, wide range of influences and sheer talent within the group make them a band to watch.

Singer/ guitarist Mateus Silva and drummer Josh Grandbouche formed the band in 2019 after a few of their other, heavier, projects came to an end. They were looking for a way to synthesize a bunch of different influences and found that Tropicália was the ideal vessel for all their ideas. 

The band grew over time, first incorporating bassist Adam Perkowski, then keyboardist Sam Kunesh and singer Happy Silva. (Although she plays a key part in the writing and recording process, Silva lives too far away at the moment to be a part of most of their live shows.) 

Most recently, they’ve added guitarist Nate Anderson to the mix. The most immediately distinctive feature of their music is Silva’s powerful voice, but everyone in the group contributes to the creative process.  

They put their first full-length, "Fora do Azul," out back in 2021. More recently, they celebrated the release of their two-song single, "Lua * Sol," with a well-received set at Downtown Sounds. A guest appearance by local hip-hop star CHRVNS on the song "Carried Away (Pulled By The Moon)" went over particularly well in a live setting. 

The care the band puts into their music is matched by the attention they put into visual accompaniments. They’ve collaborated extensively with some very talented artists. Their album covers, and especially their YouTube channel, are packed with gorgeous digital art that expands on the storytelling in their lyrics, creating a comprehensive iconography all their own. 

Again, this is very much in keeping with the development of the original Tropicália movement, which frequently integrated film and theater into the scene. 

Coming up, they’ve got a show at the Blue Room on Aug. 12, and plans in the works to record a new album. As their discography grows, so does the lore that they are creating around it. This band is on to something unique in our local music scene and it will be exciting to see how they continue to develop.

In other news, The ToadMortons are gearing up to release their sixth album in August, and they’ve already released some new music from it. The single "Upside Down" builds to some hypnotic crescendos, stacking beautiful harmonies over ringing guitars

When I wrote about Madam Monarch back in June, I mentioned that they had some new music coming up. Their single "Leviathan" is out now and it’s a rager. 

The Freshwater Sessions series is doing a great job documenting local music with high-quality live videos. Check out their latest episode with Full Color Dream, then go back through all the other fantastic musicians they’ve had on there. 

The Folk Second Saturdays series hosted by Menace Brewing is moving to the last Monday of each month. The format of open mic followed by a featured artist will not change. This month that slot will feature Lore the Mouse.


Christian Casolary
6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 2, FireHouse Arts and Events Center
There’s a ton of jazz happening this week, but I want to single out a new series you might not have heard about. Drummer Christian Casolary has organized three concerts happening every other Wednesday in August with a rotating lineup of collaborators. The first features the trio of Casolary, pianist Miles Black and bassist Michael Marcus. 

Sweetheart of the Rodeo
8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 3, Boundary Bay beer garden
If you enjoy classic country and honky-tonk, you won’t want to miss the return of Sweetheart of the Rodeo. This band is a Bellingham institution, and they’re back at the beer garden at Boundary Bay Brewery.

Souls of Mischief 
9 p.m., Friday, Aug. 4, Wild Buffalo
Oakland-based alternative hip-hop veterans Souls of Mischief are on tour behind the 30th anniversary of their classic debut "93 ‘Til Infinity." They bring that celebration to the Wild Buffalo.

4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5, 2300 block Moore Street, Bellingham
Every year the fine folks of LipStitch throw a block party on the 2300 block of Moore Street, between Carolina and Texas streets, and round up other bands that go well with their catchy, punk-adjacent, rock 'n' roll. This year, they’ve got The Hobby, Slowfall, and the Collectors joining them. Yard games and an art show start at 2 p.m., and the bands get going around 4 p.m.

photo  Bellingham-based band LipStitch will play at the Moore Street Block Party between Carolina and Texas streets on Saturday, Aug. 5. LipStitch started out in 2017 as a Joan Jett cover band for the Make.Shift covers show, and you can still hear Jett’s influence in their blend of sweet-pop melodies and crunchy-loud guitars. (Photo courtesy of LipStitch)  


Friday, July 28

  • Beach at Birch Bay: 6 p.m., Dad Company, Paper Heart (rock covers)
  • Bellewood Farms: 6 p.m., Heron and Crow (bluegrass/ folk)
  • Birdsview: 6 p.m., Tom Mullin
  • Bistro at Shuksan: 5 p.m., Julian MacDonough Jazz Quartet
  • Blue Room: 9 p.m., Listening party for “Pure Flaws” by Fantompower, featuring CHRVNS, Ca$h McClane, OG Neeks 
  • Boundary: 6 p.m., Cardova (funk/ R&B)
  • Burlington Summer Nights: 6 p.m., Lemon Creek (female-centric rock and pop covers)
  • Eagle Haven: 6 p.m., Lazy Acres, Pretty Much Nothing (rock)
  • Firehouse: 6:30 p.m., Heat Speak, Traesti Darling (indie folk)
  • Fireside: 7 p.m., The D’Vas
  • Greene’s Corner: 6 p.m., The Problem (jazz)
  • Guemes Island General Store: 6 p.m., Tenderpile’s Smile Aisle (jazz)
  • Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Peter Ali (Native American flute)
  • Lookout Arts Quarry: 7 p.m., That Devil Music Festival ft. Hot Damn Scandal, Melancholia, Dryland, Fungal Abyss
  • Pioneer Park (Ferndale): 2 p.m., Danny Vernon & The Devilles (Elvis tribute), 6 p.m. Wally & The Beaves
  • Seafarer’s Memorial Park (Anacortes): 6 p.m., Point of Sail
  • Shakedown: 9 p.m., Myonia, Of The Heavy Sun, Atomic Aurora (rock/ metal)
  • Skylark’s: 5 p.m., Odd Mood Jam Band (rock/ blues/ jam)
  • Station 49: 7 p.m., Bobby Joe Bell (country)
  • That’s What I Like: 7 p.m., Carly Ann Calbero (singer-songwriter)
  • Thirsty Badger: 8 p.m., Michael Dayvid (acoustic covers)
  • Vault: 7 p.m., Michele D’Amour and the Love Dealers
  • Wild Buffalo: 9 p.m., Zella Day, guests

Saturday, July 29

  • Beach at Birch Bay: 3 p.m., Sunset Superman (classic rock)
  • Birdsview: 6 p.m., For What It’s Worth
  • Boundary: 8 p.m., Elere (salsa)
  • Brown Lantern: 9 p.m. Jukebox Jack
  • Conway Muse: 8 p.m., Mark Dufresne Band (blues)
  • Eagle Haven: 6 p.m., Troy Fair Band
  • Fireside 4 p.m., Singers’ Saturday
  • Firehouse: 6:30 p.m., K-Kats (ragtime)
  • Gruff: 7:30 p.m., Spine Readers, Moraine, Hilarious Combination (rock/ experimental)
  • Guemes Island General Store: 6:30 p.m., Sway Wild (folk/rock)
  • Heart of Anacortes: 6 p.m., The Atlantics (classic rock and roll)
  • Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Fritz and the Freeloaders (rock and roll)
  • Kulshan Trackside: 2 p.m., Baby Cakes (R&B/ pop covers)
  • Lookout Arts Quarry: 7 p.m., That Devil Music Festival ft. Funkways, Bang Bang and the Bad Medicine, Three for Silver, Trash Casket, Oath ov Hatred
  • Old Edison: 8 p.m., The Naughty Blokes (rock)
  • Pioneer Park (Ferndale): 2 p.m., Queen’s Bluegrass; 6 p.m., Kapelle Blaser-Faver
  • Rockfish: 7:30 p.m., Michele D’Amour and the Love Dealers (blues/ R&B)
  • Schweinhaus: 8:30 p.m., Heavy Bloom, Pure Halcyon (rock)
  • Skagit Cellars: 6 p.m., Michael Dayvid
  • Skylark’s: 5 p.m., Guitars and Gratitude (folk/ country/ Americana)
  • Station 49: 2 p.m., Ethan Johnson, 7 p.m., Bobby Joe Bell (country)
  • Zeeks: 7:30 p.m., Odd Mood Jam Band (rock/ blues/ jam)

Sunday, July 30

  • Beach at Birch Bay: 3 p.m., Dial Up (alternative rock covers)
  • Beach Store Cafe: 5:30 p.m., The Atlantics
  • Bellingham Cider Co: 6:30 p.m., Millie & The Mentshn (klezmer/ world)
  • Birdsview: 4 p.m., Norman Baker
  • Boundary: 1 p.m., The Naughty Blokes (rock)
  • Gilkey Square (La Conner): 1 p.m., Joan Penney
  • Guemes Island General Store: 5:30 p.m., Mr. Sam and the People People
  • Kulshan: 5 p.m., Delta Promenade (acoustic blues)
  • Kulshan Trackside: 3 p.m., Queen’s Bluegrass
  • Main Street: 6 p.m., Open Mic
  • Old Edison: 5:30 p.m., Ron Bailey & The Tangents
  • Station 49: 3 p.m., Jimmy Wright Band (classic rock)

Monday, July 31

  • Blue Room: 6:30 p.m., Bellingham Youth Jazz Band
  • Boundary: 6 p.m., Dr. Jimmy & The Swing Time Serenaders (big band)
  • Firehouse: 3:30 p.m., Dry Martini (jazz)
  • Kulshan: 6 p.m., Michael Dayvid
  • Menace: 6 p.m., Folk Last Mondays, Open Mic plus featured guest Lore the Mouse

Tuesday, Aug. 1

  • Aslan: 8 p.m., Jazz Night
  • Barkley Village: 6 p.m., The Walrus (classic rock)
  • Boundary: 3 p.m., Out of the Ashes; 6 p.m., Paul Klein on piano
  • Culture Cafe: 7 p.m., Open Mic
  • Horseshoe Cafe: 9 p.m., Michael Dayvid
  • Menace: 7 p.m.,  Invitational Blues Jam 
  • Mount Baker Theatre: 7:30 p.m., Ashley McBryde (country)

Wednesday, Aug. 2

  • Admiralty Lounge: 8:30 p.m., Octavia McAloon (singer-songwriter)
  • Bar Cicotti: 6 p.m., Jerry Steinhilber Trio (jazz)
  • Beach at Birch Bay: 6 p.m., Open Mic/ Jam
  • Boundary: 8 p.m., Aftersounds ft. Ziaz & Nsilo, Ca$h McClane & OG Neeks, DJ Terrior (hip-hop)
  • Downtown Sounds: 6 p.m., Smooth Kiwi; 7:30 p.m., Petty Or Not
  • FireHouse: 6:30 p.m., Christian Casolary/ Miles Black/ Michael Marcus (jazz)
    Greene’s Corner: 6 p.m., Tango Cowboys
  • Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Open Mic
  • Stones Throw: 6 p.m., AJ Fullerton
  • Welcome Road: 4 p.m., Tenderpile’s Smile Aisle (jazz)
  • Wild Buffalo: 9 p.m., Miles Harris & The Deep Cuts

Thursday, Aug. 3

  • Barkley Village Green: 11 a.m., Songwriters in the Round ft. Cumulus, Taber Darland, Devin Champlin
  • Bistro at Shuksan: 5 p.m., High Peak Trio
  • Boundary: 5 p.m., Robert Sarazin Blake & The Happy Hour Band; 8 p.m., Sweetheart of the Rodeo, Rift Valley Ramblers
  • Brown Lantern: 8:30 p.m., Open Mic
  • Elizabeth Park: 6 p.m., JP Falcon Band
  • Greene’s Corner: 6 p.m., Michael Dayvid
  • Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Jazz Jam
  • Hotel Bellwether: 6 p.m., Midlife Crisis & The Alimony Horns
  • Kulshan Trackside: 6 p.m., Steve Webb & The Great Mad Swirl; 7:30 p.m., Birds of Play
  • Mount Vernon Riverwalk: 6 p.m., Fantasy Band
  • Shakedown: 9 p.m., The Mondegreens, Full Color Dream, SPORTSTAR (rock)
  • Thirsty Badger: 7 p.m., Open Mic
  • That’s What I Like: 6 p.m., Michael Longeneker
    Zeeks: 8 p.m., Fritz and the Freeloaders (acoustic rock)

Friday, Aug. 4

  • Aslan: 8 p.m., BJ Block Trio (jazz/ funk)
  • Beach at Birch Bay: 6 p.m., Lost At Last
  • Bellewood Farms: 6 p.m., Michael Dayvid
  • Birdsview: 6 p.m., Birds of Play
  • Bistro at Shuksan: 5 p.m., Julian MacDonough Jazz Quartet
  • Blue Room: 9 p.m., The Groovy Nobody, Bennycamps & The Bastards, Dead Energy (psych rock)
  • Burlington Summer Nights: 6 p.m., Desolation Sound
  • Eagle Haven: 7 p.m., Pacific Twang (country)
  • Fireside: 7 p.m., Ron Hardt
  • Greene’s Corner: 6 p.m., North Country Highway
  • Honey Moon: 8 p.m., The Problem (jazz)
  • Pioneer Park (Ferndale): 6 p.m., The Fabulous Murphtones (classic rock and pop)
  • Shakedown: 8:30 p.m., Afterlife Giftshop, Schmutz, Old Town Scouts
  • Skagit Cellars: 6 p.m., India Glover (singer-songwriter)
  • Skylark’s: 5 p.m., Whitewing (blues/ funk/ soul)
  • Stones Throw: 6 p.m., High Mountain String Band (bluegrass)
  • That’s What I Like: 7 p.m., Guitars & Gratitude
    • Thirsty Badger: 8 p.m., County Rose (country)
  • Vault: 7 p.m., Sam Halbert and Friends
  • Wild Buffalo: 9 p.m., Souls of Mischief, guests (hip-hop)
  • WinkWink: 7 p.m., Eso, Fog Bodies (rock)

Saturday, Aug. 5

  • Beach at Birch Bay: In the field, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tribute to the Mount Baker Rhythm and Blues Festival featuring Hamilton Loomis, Chris Eger Band, Bobby Patterson Band, Midlife Crisis and the Alimony Horns, Cory
  • Vincent and the Electric Band; In the bar, 3 p.m., All-Star Jam
  • Beach Store Cafe: 5 p.m., Yogoman Burning Band (reggae/R&B)
  • Bellewood Farms: 6 p.m., Michael Dayvid
  • Birdsview: Noon to 8 p.m., Birdstock ft. The Dimes, Turn Key Runner, Pretty Much Nothing, Bare Feet, The Toadmortons, Pure Halcyon, Last Resort
  • Blue Room: 9 p.m., Magenta Wave, Justin Harden, Mia Day
  • Conway Muse: 8 p.m., Joel Astley Band (blues)
  • Corner Pub (Bow): 6 p.m., Delta Promenade (acoustic blues)
  • Fireside 4 p.m., Singers’ Saturday
  • Fringe Brewing (Ferndale): Noon to 9 p.m., Block Party ft. The Stillvettas, The Shannanagins, Arcade Cowboys, JP Falcon Grady, and more
  • Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Lonesome Town Painters (bluegrass)
  • Kulshan Trackside: 7 p.m., Cape Flattery; 8:30 p.m., Jessie Thoreson & The Crown Fire
  • Old Edison: 1 p.m., Donnie Hafercamp
  • Moore Street (between Carolina and Texas streets): 4 p.m., block party featuring LipStitch, The Hobby, Slowfall, The Collectors
  • Rockfish: 7:30 p.m., Randy Weeks & The Silent Treatment
  • Shakedown: 8:30 p.m., Vance Latta, Screen Frogs, Basement Tuesdays
    • Skylark’s: 5 p.m., Ryan Sandholm (acoustic covers)
  • Station 49: 5 p.m., Jack Benson Band (classic rock)
  • Stones Throw: 6 p.m., J.P. Falcon Grady

Sunday, Aug. 6

  • Beach at Birch Bay: 3 p.m., Chill DeVille
  • Bellingham Cider Co: 6:30 p.m., Ken Bronstein Quartet 
  • Deming Library: 4 p.m., BandZandt
  • Gilkey Square (La Conner): 1 p.m., Lost At Last
  • Greene’s Corner: 5:30 p.m., Simon Evans (singer-songwriter)
  • Kulshan: 5 p.m., Cardova
  • Kulshan Trackside: 3 p.m., Gallowglass
  • Main Street: 6 p.m., Open Mic
  • Old Edison: 5:30 p.m., The Orville Johnson Band
  • Paws For A Beer: 2 p.m., Michael Dayvid
  • Shakedown: 8 p.m., Wine Lips, Spirit Award, Checker Bloom (rock)
    • Station 49: 3 p.m., Zach Michaud
  • Wild Buffalo: 9 p.m., CupcakKe, guests (hip-hop)

Before heading out to listen to live music, check with individual venues to make sure the event is still taking place as scheduled. 

The Beat Goes On is published online Tuesdays and in print Fridays. Email: or Twitter: @JSBhamMusic.

Have a news tip? Email or Call/Text 360-922-3092



Register for email newsletters

* indicates required

Latest Stories

Rangers wrap up playoff berth, help eliminate Mariners with 6-1 victory
Seattle falls short a year after ending 21-year playoff drought

Affordable housing among candidates' top concerns
Complex problem requires multiple solutions

New multimedia dance work exploring water features photography and poetry
‘Tidal’ explores water, relationships in intergenerational dance piece by Kuntz and Company

Lynden's passing attack overpowers Sehome
Heppner's 4 TD passes leads Lions to 44-24 win over Mariners

J.P. Crawford's grand slam leads Mariners to 8-0 win over Rangers
Seattle remains 1 game behind Houston in wild-card standings