Tag Archives: Secret Colours

What’s In the Box? – #5

18 Jan

Whats In The Box

It’s that time of the week again when we sit down and pluck out some hidden gems from our inbox. In ‘What’s In The Box?’ we provide a home and a couple of lines for tracks we have enjoyed but just didn’t have time to get to properly in the previous seven days.

This week it would appear that chilled out R&B was the favourite sound for new artists, but we’ve mixed it up with some vintage rock sounds, electronica and pop with nine cracking tunes.


Racing Glaciers – “New Country” (Laurel Remix)

First up this week is a remix that proves to be the complete antithesis of the original song. Racing Glaciers’ “New Country” was a stirring, Gladiatorial battle of a song but this remix from is anything but. Instead it has become almost unrecognisable as it drips muted sounds into a black pool of languidity deep within a hidden cavern, buried in a mountainside. Ripples of sound gently drift across the surface in an otherwise silent environment, deep greens of phosphor glowing softly providing the only light for this unspoilt world. It’s 3am music and it’s worth staying up that late just to play it.

Secret Colours – “It Can’t Be Simple”

With their retro psychedelic almost proggy sound, the imagery on Secret Colours latest video is entirely fitting. A love letter to the recording and playing technology of yesteryear, it is an analogue enthusiast’s wet dream with oscillations and vibrations aplenty. “It Can’t Be Simple” itself harks back to the late sixties and early seventies, with a Doors like keyboard line hidden within blurred guitar fuzzes and swirling, hazy loveliness. It’s a bit like being inside a lava lamp.

Mattheu – “Sanguine”

Hailing from Manhattan, Mattheu is gearing up for the release of his debut EP (Virgin) later this year with the release of the conversely named “Sanguine”. Rather than being cheerful and upbeat, it is a delicate mist of low tempo R&B infused pop. It is soulful and heartfelt while still offering a kind of cold, stark quality through its use of electronica and staccato beats underneath the subtle sheen of melody.

Hawkon – “Burn Me Down”

Also from the cupboard marked chilled electronic R&B sounds is London based producer Hawkon. Slightly more uneasy and unsettling than Mattheu, “Burn Me Down” is that little bit darker, like soul that has been buried in a glacier for tens of thousands of years before being thawed out in the present day. It still sounds wonderful but it’s not entirely smooth, some of the ice has melted within the machine and the resultant electronic glitches whirr and click into the melody to great effect.

Pastel Colours – “Hands Like Silk”

We had Secret Colours earlier and now we move to Pastel Colours, a Cornwall based five-piece that also have an ear for vintage, psychedelic guitar sounds. Marbled patterns of light and sound entwine and swirl in amongst crashing rhythms and jangled riffs. The denouement is a like an escape from an underground bunker as the sound breaks free into the light, open and liberated to go forth and groove on down.

Emmy – “Hurricanes”

Hushed to the point of being little more than a whispered word on a winter’s morning, “Hurricanes” by Emmy is as fragile as they come. Just a single touch with a feather could shatter this wonderfully preserved snowflake. The 20 year old’s vocals float out across a valley shrouded in a sunken fog, muting the sound and befuddling the senses so it appears to be coming from all around you. She sings with a choral quality, elegant and beautiful, like her voice is from a higher plane.

CONCLΔVE – “Ocean Star”

It’s been a little while since we last featured the mysterious “Beatsmith from the Land of the Thousand Islands” but he’s back and kicking his 2014 off with his first ever video, for old track, “Ocean Star”. Taken from his forthcoming debut album and featuring the vocal talents of Luxe Calip, it sounds like an eerie Lana Del Ray, Halloween Lana perhaps? Not spooky but blending her trademark nonchalance with an electronic disquiet, like waiting for the inevitable heartbreak or disappointment to come.

Elephant – “Elusive Youth”

As our years continue to advance at an alarmingly quickening rate, our own youth is feeling ever more elusive and like a figment of our imaginations. Thankfully we have delightful pop moments like the gorgeous new track from Elephant to keep us going. It’s a kind Cults meets Sleeper meets Lyla Foy tune and frankly, that is all we need to know.

Moderat – “Last Time”

Taken from the deluxe version of last year’s II, Moderat are about to release “Last Time” as a single in its own right, featuring a new mix from man of electronica’s moment, Jon Hopkins. Aside from sounding fantastic, it makes us want to ride a motorbike through the autumn tree lined towns of Germany, and we don’t even know how to ride a motorbike.

That’s it, two weeks in a row! That’s a new record for ‘What’s In The Box?’! All being well, we’ll be back next Saturday to make it a threepeat with more inbox rummaging goodness.

Tracks Of My Teens: #9 – Secret Colours

21 May

Tracks Of My Teens

It’s been nearly a year and a half since we last featured Chicago’s Secret Colours on the site. That was for the release of their 3rd EP, EP3 and a lot has happened since then, their debut album was released and next week the follow up, Peach hits stores. The guys have had a pretty busy time of late but guitarist Dave Stach was able to put down his axe for a few moments and pick up a laptop to take a trip down memory lane for us. Without further ado then, this is Tracks of my Teens, Secret Colours style.

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Review: Secret Colours – EP3

17 Jan

There is almost something anachronistic about Secret Colours who, in this sample crazy digital age, persist in making the kind of energetic, riff heavy psych rock and pop that so delighted in the 70’s. The release of EP3 finds the band tighter and more focused than ever before, they say follow the drone, they are not wrong.

The EP kicks off with the rambunctious, attitude filled “Faust”, the video for which is just perfect. We’re not sure if there is an equivalent of onomatopoeia for music videos looking just like their songs sound, but if there is, then director Elijah Alvarado has found it. Dancing around a fire, drinking, laughing, playing with fireworks, just being teenagers without a care in the world and with plenty of snarl about them, this is exactly how the track is. If you met “Faust” down a dark alleyway at night, it would probably knee you in the balls. In a good way.

From then on things start to ease off, only gradually though, like a long walk down a very slight incline. The wailing riffs, the arrogance, the low continuous hum that rattles your bones; all remain, but the adrenalin fuelled tempo does, mercifully, drop. By the time the tender, folk infused, “Carry My Soul” and closer, “Sunny Afternoon” (a very faithful rendition of the Kinks classic) roll by, you have had time enough to revel in the fuzzy haze of Secret Colours and catch your breath, just in time to hit repeat and do it all again.

The world may well end in 2012 but this Chicago quintet has certainly got the year off to a great start.


1. “Faust”
2. “Legends of Love”
3. “Tender Pretender”
4. “Carry My Soul”
5. “Sunny Afternoon”

EP3 is out now and you can buy it either digitally or on CD from the band’s bandcamp page.

Secret Colours Premiere Brilliant New Video: “Faust”

19 Dec

After all the fun of last week’s year-end list-a-thon we’ve been playing a bit of catch up with the contents of our inbox. One item that stood out was the new video from Chicago based psych-rockers, Secret Colours. The promo, which you can watch below, is a tale of what happens when a group of hedonistic young things take their life of criminality and lawlessness to the wrong convenience store.

Directed by Elijah Alvarado, the track is called “Faust” but the video could easily be called Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Bottles of True Blood.It’s a great little flick that brilliantly compliments this fuel injected, attitude filled number.

“Faust” is taken from the bands forthcoming release, EP 3, which is out on 1 January 2012. You can pre-order the EP here.