The expansive world of psych music has too many bands getting drawn into being called psych when they’re clearly something else. For Oklahoma’s Colourmusic, the band is definitely a psych band, though their approach to the genre is more cinematic and far beyond the typical. On their latest release Swimsuit, they take that approach to great lengths in becoming more than just another band rehashing the past.
In so many ways, the music they make is haunting but not dark, ghostly but not scary, and richly textured but not overly thick. The opening track of the album, “Swimsuit” takes its time in getting to the kill point. Soft layers of notes dance on your palette, while the brushstrokes of music start to paint a picture you’d want to hang in the Louvre. When the drums come in, their deployment isn’t like anyone else either, making the falsetto vocals work so much better than how most bands would approach their use. It’s a trippy sound that slowly scratches your senses, but doesn’t draw blood for a while. This is pretty present throughout the entirety of the album. It’s as if guys who’d never heard traditional psych decided to start a psych band, yet they figured out how to make it engaging and interesting at the same time.
The way the drums are coupled on “Everyday (Say It), the synth stabs at the opening of “Pageant” and the slow build of “Dynasty” are all masterfully done, sounding closest to something made by Brian Eno. All of these songs have breaking points that come in far and away from when you’d expect them to. If you know how music gets laid out, if you know anything about chord progressions and measures, the way this band incorporates time into their music is something else entirely. Even the dark synth notes that open up “Middle School Dance (Death By Water)” ave this feeling like they came from another galaxy, or from the mind of someone who’d spent too much time in a funeral home. It all works, every note, and sounds pretty much like no one else in their genre.
You can stream Swimsuit on all streaming sites, you can purchase it digitally wherever you but music, or you can pick it up on vinyl directly from the band on Bandcamp. Colourmusic will be performing in Norman, OK at Guestroom Records tonight and they will also be performing at Burgermania 2019 in Austin, TX on March 17. A complete listing of their upcoming shows can be found here.
Image Credits: Photo by Chase Kerby.