The Bard himself once said “all’s well that ends well,” and once, we really abused that quote in a middle school breakup. Fifteen years later, it’s coming back to bite us as we do our best to console ourselves in amidst the final voyage of Cuzco.

The North Carolina quintet has made quite the impact on the instrumental scene over their five-ish years as a band with their casual yet authoritative approach to flavorful, jazz-hearted math rock. They never went full ‘jath rock,’ happy to cruise their own lane, leaning more heavily on midwest indie and experimental textures.

Every moment of Cuzco’s triumphant, tragic final album, A Miracle Sun Design swells with the fullness of self-aware destruction, but never begrudgingly. Instead, the band delivers the kind of poignant sendoff we all but wish so many others were capable of. There’s no loss of enthusiasm here – it’s almost as if the band is not just ready, but excited to enter the next chapter of their individual lives.

Like all healthy breakups, it’s important to acknowledge the growth and good times, and songs like “Power Mad” and “Save Round” rush to remind you that the band held a unique place in audience hearts. Powerful closer “We Have Us Now” sails like a swan down Lake Norman’s freezing, but beautiful expanse. As the final album’s final song gives way to the group chants and dreamy soundscapes that define the band’s legacy, it’s hard not get at least a little misty-eyed.

Being in a band is a lot more difficult than it sounds. It’s easy to start one, but how do you end one? With Miracle Sun Design, Cuzco shows us how to do it with grace and dignity without trying to overproduce or spark up any drama. In the end, the album stands as testament to the chemistry and friendship great projects are made of, and we’re so, so grateful for the time they put in. It’s been a pretty great run.

Rest In Peace, Cuzco. We will miss you. There’s no reason to stop listening to them though, and you can check out their discography here. You can also buy us a coffee here – we’re fresh out! Coming up we’ve got some more technical stuff on guitars, a premier from an epic compilation from our friends at SKiN Graft Records, and a whole lot more. Thanks for reading!