Photo: Hunter Moreno

Jeremy Zucker, Lauv, and Alexander 23 – Cozy

For fans of contemporary indie pop, this collaboration is like something out of a fever dream. A plethora of others between what many would consider the pillars of the genre… the pioneers of its modern age who have influenced the next generation of artists after they have occurred, mostly in the form of a duet. Or a feature. Rarely, at least in pop, does a song with three male vocalists bubble up in this way.

It’s not a leak. They made an Instagram account. They planned this. “Cozy,” featuring Jeremy Zucker, Alexander 23, and Lauv, as well as its Step Brothers-inspired music video for the track portraying the three juggernauts at a sleepover, is available now.

On paper, the obvious route, if they were vying for a radio hit, would be to follow Lauv’s sonic palette entirely. Zucker’s music, arguably the most influential of the three but the most reserved, and Alexander’s, the most suited for adult radio with occasional attempts at mainstream commerciality, would not have been the move. The goal would have been to execute a bubbly, infectious midtempo synth/electro-pop song that, like “I Like Me Better” and “Love U Like That,” builds organically yet deceivingly throughout its three-minute lifespan.

They were not gunning for radio play. “Cozy” is a mix of an album track from both Lauv’s how i’m feeling and Zucker’s CRUSHER respectively, while, in short and understated ways, plays to Alexander’s instrumental strengths. It is, purely, a song for their intersecting fanbases.

Zucker’s softer, more bedroom pop-leaning barite-nor tone is perfectly matched by Lauv’s octave double in falsetto throughout the track, in what is their respective sweet spots. However, it is Alexander, who, though he sings less than the other two, provides the most noticeable and effective vocal moments. His harmonies, usually paired with Zucker, add a layer that is both texturally and melodically appealing.

Simply, the lyrics of the song reflect the trio in early infatuation with an individual who has established feelings of safety and an intimate but nonthreatening closeness in the early stages: Said I’m into you, but you already knew/ By the way you touched my hair/ Like your hand’s always been there/ So I dropped my guard, and it hit real hard.”

Lauv, well-versed in portraying feelings of giddy flirtations with his airy falsetto, makes the most of this vocal placement on a song based on giddy flirtations. His descending run on the word “cozy” in that falsetto naturally creates a lighter, more absorbed sense of desire. He also gets the spotlight on the word “damn” at the very end of the song, as both Zucker and Alexander step aside to keep the lore intact.

As expected, all three were thrilled at the opportunity to work together and give their fans a small dose of what they’ve been asking for. “This collab has been a long time coming, and it was the most fun I’ve had in a while making music,” said Zucker in a joint statement. “I feel like our fans have waited for us to collaborate for so long, and I truly just love these boys and think they’re so talented,” added Lauv. Alexander shared their sentiments, saying, “We’ve been talking about making music all together for years, and when it finally happened, it was magical.”

Stream “Cozy”: