Recently US indie rockers Colony House released their first UK single in the feisty and captivating shape of Silhouettes to coincide a host of live dates across Europe with Ohio quartet Walk The Moon. Fair to say a healthy buzz was bred and earned by both the shows and the single which was taken from the band’s debut album When I Was Younger; a fuss easy to expect leading to further potent success this side of the pond with the assumed release of the album here too.
Hailing from Nashville, Colony House was formed by Caleb and Will Chapman, the sons of Contemporary Christian pop superstar Steven Curtis Chapman, with Scott Mills who the pair met through a cousin. Initially called Caleb, the band switched to the name of Colony House in 2013, continuing to work on their first album which they began in 2012 and completed that following year. Its songs are a bold and openly intimate look at issues and experiences observed and felt by the band, the accidental death of the brother’s 5-year-old adoptive sister Maria Sue in 2008 one such tragedy. Their songs, as shown by the album, also explore a hope and understanding within the raw elements theming their bodies, their sounds similarly nurtured to accentuate and emphasize their themes with rich success.
The new single opens up the album and swiftly has ears enticed and gripped, Silhouettes swinging in with energetic rhythms and jangly guitar within a warm atmosphere led by the potent vocals. There is an instant familiarity to the sound of the song, nothing specific but recognisable hues welcoming an appetite for vibrant pop rock. It also comes with a thick drama and magnetic virulence, the song bridging melodic intimacy and rousing incitements with a stirring quality that soaks the album throughout as shown by the track’s successor Second Guessing Games. Again hearty and gentle caresses with a catchy intent lead into boisterous exploits with matching infectiousness, their persuasions alternating and entwining across the dynamic swing of the equally impressing track.
Variety is a constant across When I Was Younger too, the sultry and persistently revolving mix of electronic imagination and indie seduction colouring Caught Me By Surprise and the shadowed eighties toned theatre of Roll With the Punches quick evidence. Both of the excellent encounters steal attention with ease, the second especially compelling within its China Crisis meets Editors like weave of emotive melodies and immersive atmospherics around the ever impressing vocals and craft of the band.
There is a touch of UK band The Sea to the Colony House sound, an element hinting throughout but especially coming to mind within the tenaciously resourceful Keep On Keeping On, one of many tracks which just linger in the memory with its gentle but inescapable hooks and a wonderfully unpredictable imagination merging tender elements with fiery textures and emotional intensity. There is also a natural roar to the song and many of its companions which you can easily visualise being a potent force live, the album, we are assured by those in the know, a strong reflection of the band’s rich energy and power on stage.
Through the lively and heartfelt croon of Waiting for My Time to Come and the bluesy tonic of 2:20, band and album continue to enthral and offer spicy variations, the surf rock lined exploits of guitar in the second of the two especially invigorating before Learning How to Love lowers the intensity with its melodic romancing of the senses. It is a potent caressing which still has a rhythmic agitation to keep an eye on, one sparking increasing volatility as the song grows into its smouldering bellow of melodic temptation without breaking its controlling reins.
Through the acoustic serenade of Won’t Give Up and the evolving energy and creative landscape of Moving Forward, satisfaction and enjoyment is full even if neither quite lights the fires as forcibly and long term as earlier tracks or as constantly in the case of the latter. Glorious has a similar success, making a heavily pleasing and increasingly magnetic companion with every listen but not leaving the same seeds to entice an urgent return as say Silhouettes or Caught Me By Surprise.
The album closes out with Lose Control, another skilled theatre of sound and expression weaving in melancholic strings, dramatic rhythms, and the ever bracing mix of melodic and vocal heart. It is an anthemic end to an excellent introduction to the UK of Colony House, and easy to see why they are a healthily devoured proposal back home.
We have no details of the UK release of When I Was Younger but it seems it is on the cards with Silhouettes a more than exciting teaser worth big attention.
The UK and US releases of Silhouettes and When I Was Younger respectively can be found through most online stores.
Pete RingMaster 16/12/2015
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