It has been four years since psych-rock outfit Colourmusic released their album, May You Marry Rich. It was an album that developed the increasing value of everything that went before. Those tunes achieved a sweet balance; gaining weight in heavier riffs, but also shine with some lighter, poppier elements. It remained psychedelic in it’s center, but it added elements of glam, and an instantly likable aspect to the art of things. If previous Colourmusic releases kicked off the roof, May You Marry Rich signaled a trajectory toward even greater things.
But then a pause. A really long pause.
In recent months there have been some typically low-key updates from the band. The news that their fourth full length album, Swimsuit is to be released in February of next year warmed the hearts of long-waiting fans. In a typically human-scale approach, Colourmusic’s, Ryan Hendrix has been sharing the new album with fans via direct communication. Email him, introduce yourself, and Swimsuit is available for purchase. Nice.
Now, in the long lead up to broader, more traditional release, Colourmusic have shared the first single and video from the new album. ‘Haunt Me’ also teases the calendar as we head toward halloween. And it’s the most Colourmusic thing we’ve seen since the last Colourmusic thing we saw.
The track cuts straight in on a pouting bass line. The percussive elements do everything that we’d expect from the band, and yet there’s freshness and surprise. The first thirty-eight seconds of the track are empty of vocals. An infection sets in. The groove is deep. The first thirty-eight seconds could play on loop and we’d be happy. But they don’t; vocals, and further depth happen. Nick Ley, who has always done champion work in production, delivers a wall of sound with unusual sensitivity. Something happens in the high-end which is simple, effective, and a distinguishing element of his work.
Accompanying video for ‘Haunted’ can be logged in the canon of classic visuals that Colourmusic produce. Who can forget the beautifully fucked-up videos for ‘Tog’, and ‘You For Leaving Me’, or the more family friendly ‘Yes!‘ Seemingly effortless, yet the product of hard work, and an awareness of high art and pop culture, this new offering plays with the kind of mythology that bands tend to lean in on. A haunted studio.
Shot intentionally-infuriatingly, in part, in portrait ratio. We’re told that this video was filmed on iPhones during the Swimsuit recording sessions. The band turn amateur parapsychologists. They document the movement of inanimate objects. Doors of empty rooms open and close, apparently on their own volition. Lights flicker, a keyboard plays itself, sheets of reflective foil move. A model Elvis gyrates. And some ghoulish poltergeist has the poor manners to smash a snow globe. If you’ve ever cleaned up a broken snow globe you’ll understand the deep paranormal frustration that we’re dealing with.
In ‘Haunt Me’ Colourmusic continue a path of making deeply personal music. Yes, there’s a wit here, but also a reverence to the process, and the darker elements that are explored. Lyrically sharp, instrumentally compelling, and visually rewarding – each definition of themselves increases clarity of the whole. (Best served loud)
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PHOTOGRAPHY BY MAT MILLER