Album Review: The Colourist

If you’re looking for a quick idea as to what The Colourist’s sound is all about, just take a glance at their self-titled 2014 album cover. It features a clump of glitter, shimmering like a galactic sky, which becomes an appropriate representation of their music. The Colourist is comprised of Adam Castilla, Maya Tuttle, Kollin Johannsen, and Justin Wagner, and they are bringing an upbeat, electro-pop sound to the indie-pop-rock music scene that shimmers just like the iridescent image on their album cover.

The Colourist is the quartet’s first full album, offering 11 tracks, four of which are off of their 2013 EP, Lido, including “Little Games.”  The chorus of this track is very catchy, much like the bridges on every other track. This song is an example of how the California-based group maintains their colorful groove even through songs that aren’t necessarily lighthearted in content. The lyrics of this song, for example, describe a destructive relationship, but the excited and dense melody of the music wouldn’t suggest so.

This is done again in “Fix This,” a song that begs of forgiveness and second chances. The melody is ironically fast paced with highly energized, characteristics that can be used to describe almost every other song on the album.

Indeed, each track runs the risk of being indistinguishable from another if it weren’t for the lyrics. Although The Colourist is undoubtedly fun and contagious in that sing-along way at times, the album is most lacking in variety. There might be too much of the rapid tempo and bright percussion.

“Stray Away” provides the most change. It is the closest the group gets to a ballad, with an acoustic sound and lovely string instrumentals. The sound matches what is expected from the lyrics, and listeners will be moved when Castilla and Tuttle sing “I don’t want to fall in love” harmoniously. It’s a favorite, and reveals a potential for The Colourist to expand their repertoire.

Other notable songs off the album include “We Won’t Go Home,” an especially percussive, anthemic tune; “Put the Fire Out,” which is like an angsty Paramore-esque song (minus the Hayley Williams); and “Tonight (Young Hearts).” This last one is likely my favorite and is a great jam to play at the end of a night out.

The Colourist will be playing out West over the next month, headlining shows in Colorado, Utah, Washington, Oregon, and California before heading to the East Coast in June. This album would undoubtedly make for a great live set, so if you have the opportunity, catch a show! Until then, The Colourist is available for download on iTunes now.

Overall rating: 3/5

Recommended tracks: “Tonight (Young Hearts),” “Stray Away,” “Wishing Wells”


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