Feature by Bailey Garno
More and more often musicians and followers of music alike come across unrecognizable collections of words slammed together to describe new mixes of genres. These genres once were divisible by stark boundaries, but with technology and the increasing need to stand out, boundaries have become blurred. Take the hot young, UK band, Colour the Atlas, for instance.
Born out of Swindon, the foursome describes themselves as alternative trip hop, which must be one of the coolest genre titles I have heard yet. The group has stepped into the limelight for the release of their third EP. Titled Amethyst, the EP became available for download in the UK June 29, and will hit the States sometime in September.
For our American readers who want a taste of Amethyst now, “Scared” is available for your listening and viewing pleasure. “Scared” is the group’s single off the EP. I’m a sucker for male-female harmonies, so this track, fueled by the achingly beautiful vocals of lead vocalist/keyboard player Jess Hall and guitarist Alex Stone, is one I can listen to in the dead of the night or in the quiet hours of the morning. It’s one big climactic crawl, finishing with a gusto and finally fizzling out in the last seconds. The duet reminds me of a song I found by Snow Patrol featuring Martha Wainwright (“Set Fire to the Third Bar”). “Scared” would be more alternative folk like “Set Fire” if it weren’t for the dusting of electronic over its acoustics. The band plays on this in the production of their music video. Available on YouTube, artsy symbols and signs that are more familiar on a computer screen overlay the natural, black and white shots in the background. It’s very visually appealing and stimulating.
Jess Hall, Alex Stone, Andy Vincent (bass) and Stef Pysanczyn (drums) together make up Colour the Atlas, a band whose name is derived from their mutual desire to travel the world and color in a map by doing so. Influenced by the likes of Radiohead and Massive Attack, Amethyst is produced by Jake Gosling (Ed Sheeran, George Ezra) and will be available for download in the U.S. this September. In the meantime, follow the band on Twitter and Facebook for updates on the EP’s release.