Hot off the back of winning BBC Introducing’s ‘New Band of The Year 2014’ from Stoke, Liverpool/Stoke-based quartet COLOUR recently released their debut EP, Strangers. Describing themselves as art rock, what they’ve treated us to is a refreshing burst of musical talent.
Heading the EP is lead single ‘Strangers’, a relatively long but captivating creation. The appeal in this track comes from its almost entirely independent guitar lines that weave around the lead vocal, adding the harmonic depth that seems to make COLOUR’s sound so distinctive. The track closes with vocal harmonies that not only further this, but leave the listener wanting to further their experience of this band. A strong start.
Next comes the melodically enriched ‘Red’. While an entirely different presence to ‘Strangers’, this song wields the distinctive guitar-driven sound this EP shows COLOUR to exhibit. Musicianship does not come second to vocals here – its raging guitar and cymbals all over the place, and charmingly addictive.
‘Shattered’ is once again an exhibit of the guitar. Lyrically, it’s simple and fairly repetitive, but this allows the intricate construction of the song to come through. Critics have likened COLOUR’s sound to the likes of Foals, something I hear here especially with the exploitation of disjointed guitar lines that rise into a climax.
Rounding COLOUR’s debut EP off is ‘Mediterranean’, my favourite track of the release. It exudes a bouncy vibe with a beat that’s foot-tappingly catchy. With a vocal that’s a bit more melodically complex than that of ‘Shattered’, ‘Mediterranean’ creates the perfect sound for the last track, again returning to the vocally harmonic approach of the opener. The song creates a happy balance between vocals and instrumentation, showcasing the talents of the whole band.
Overall, this is an impressive release from the Liverpool/Stoke outfit. Perhaps what I found most thrilling is COLOUR’s ability to create a quartet of tracks that are distinct from each other while remaining loosely connected by the band’s individual sound – there’s nothing too samey here and it works in the band’s favour. If you ask me, COLOUR’s debut has planted them firmly in Liverpool’s selection of ones to watch.
Words: Cecily Sheppard