The song at #99 on my list of 100 Best Songs of the 2010s is the beautiful “Shine” by Mondo Cozmo. I’m not a religious person (I grew up Catholic but am now Atheist), so it’s kind of surprising that I would love it as much as I do. I guess it’s because of its stirring melody, the incredible guitar work, the way the instrumentals build into a sweeping gospel-like crescendo, and his raw, soaring vocals that remind me a little of Bob Dylan’s. Also, his lyrics are truly inspirational without sounding one bit mawkish or trite.
Mondo Cozmo is the artistic name of Philadelphia-born and now L.A.-based singer-songwriter Josh Ostrander, who told ABC Radio in an interview that he “wasn’t in the best headspace” when he wrote “Shine”. He added “It’s so cool that something written during that [low] time could be looked at now as being an inspirational thing. I didn’t think about the mixes or the recording, it was just all really loose, and I like to keep it like that. I think some of the charm is the shittiness of the recording.” I think it’s absolutely perfect.