‘Cosmic Mess’ is the debut release from Manchester artist Warahenege – a deeply atmospheric, sophisticated dream-pop track that’ll leave you staring at nothing (try it for yourself).
Warahenege is the project of Praveen Somarathne, who chose to use his Sri Lankan birth surname as his moniker to purvey the unapologetically personal nature of his songwriting. ‘Cosmic Mess’, which was written during the nights between Praveen’s shifts as a junior doctor, is one of the most authentic, sophisticated dream-pop songs about vulnerability I’ve ever heard. The track is truly evocative of those hyper-introspective nights when the hectic days don’t allow you to think – a regularity in Praveen’s life, I would imagine, as a junior doctor during a pandemic.
Forgive me for getting corny here, but I hope Praveen realises how talented he is, and how much promise Warahenege has. For a debut release, it sounds like this project has been around for years. ‘Cosmic Mess’ has such a lush soundscape, synths layered on guitars layered on synths layered on thick drums (which, side note, I don’t think are programmed drums – Praveen appears to be a multi-instrumentalist too), without muddying the sound at all. His lyrics keep the capricious dream-pop balance: poetic, but not vaporous; grounded, but not predictable (‘What cosmic mess am I in this time? / What higher power contrives a joke so dry?’).
I can’t personally draw a satisfactory comparison to another band/artist, so I’ll just say this: Warahenege is like if you gave Mac DeMarco more synths and made him way more interesting, in every capacity (wow, real hot take). Needless to say, I’m really quite impressed – and I’m sincerely looking forward to hearing what else Warahenege has in his bag.