Cousin Curtiss’s first album, What’s in the Water (2008), is a youthful and somewhat uncultivated sound that nonetheless contains massive energy and enthusiasm. The songs themselves range from indy rock to folk to 12-bar blues to Americana. The greater theme of the album is rooted in a folk-style “message to the public” to be wary of what is becoming of our natural wonders. Specifically in this case, fresh water. Per a conversation involving wild, futuristic colors and zero moral or ethical thoughts regarding cloning and mind control, the title track “What’s in the Water” was born. The rest of the album maintains the creative, zany, and “Frumpy” style found in the lyrics and musicality of “What’s in the Water” accept for the song, “When the Ship Goes Down.” “Ship” is the quintessential love song between a man and his love who was expected home soon. The song itself was the brainchild of a late-night improv jam session around a campfire in Marquette, MI. From the line, “a torn and tattered leaflet, it will come in whatever way moves you” the rest of the song took shape while looking over Lake Superior horizon. What’s in the Water is above all else the springboard from which Cousin Curtiss’s lyrical styling and musical hunger grew.