Colours are a four-piece indie rock/surf band originally from New Forest, England. The group began playing in 2009 and consists of Leon Diaper (vocals and guitar), Jon Lawrence (guitar), Lewis Baker (drums) and Jorge Stride (bass). Colours' sound is lush with reverb, surf guitars, mid-tempo beats with wild drum fills, crooning vocals and driving basslines. The group is currently based out of London, England, and they run a DIY label named Marshall Teller Records (which has put out releases from bands like The Vaccines, Dignan Porch, and Warm Brains). Colours's first release was a 7'' self-titled single on Sleep All Day Records. They later self-released a split 7'' with Cheetahs, Dignan Porch and Not Cool! on Marshall Teller Records. Breaking formula, their third release (A Lost Youth EP) was a t-shirt that came with a download code for two MP3s. It was recorded with their friend and East London producer/musician, Rory Atwell.
Over 200 years since Napoleon Bonaparte famously stated, “if you want a thing done well, do it yourself,” this mentality still holds strong—at least for London-based indie rockers, Colours. Shortly after coming together in the summer of 2010, the four-piece group decided to take musical matters into their own hands. They started their own independent record label called Marshall Teller Records (which has put out releases from bands like The Vaccines and Not Cool), and released their debut EP A Lost Youth. Their DIY approach can be heard throughout A Lost Youth. Opening track “Warm Brains” (seemingly an homage to their label mates Warm Brains) packs in a punky punch, with urgent vocals and surfy guitar riffs riding a riptide of reverberation. “It's over, it's over, it's over” is repeated—well, over and over—until you're hypnotized into a psychedelic trance. This is the type of song that you'll want to listen to through a good pair of headphones, so that the intricacies aren't lost in a hazy buzz of noise. While “Warm Brains” serves well as an energetic opening track, Colours mellow out the party with “Meet Me There.” There are plenty of “ahhhs” and “oohs” coming together harmoniously over atmospheric instrumentation that has a slight beachy feel—albeit in the British sense, with grey skies and rocky sand instead of warm tropical water and endless sunshine. Injecting a jolt of punk energy back into the mix is “Lost Youth.” It's quick tempo, with a call-and-response technique used between vocalizations of “oohs” and “ahhs” and the guitar riffs. Lead singer and guitarist Leon Diaper captures the feeling of being young by singing about making “homes away from hometowns,” with this sense of nostalgia sonically enhanced by instrumental nods to bands of the past, like Sonic Youth and Pavement. “Wise Woods,” the closing track on the EP, is the equivalent of waking up at dawn, bleary-eyed, after staying up all night at a crazy house party. If you listen carefully, you can even hear light bird chirps layered in-between shoegaze-style guitar riffs, with Diaper enhancing the pastoral scene by singing, “running in the woods makes us wise, we're running in the woods.” And as Diaper sings, “we'll lie on the grass and look up high,” there's a brilliant moment of realization when you realize that he's just given you the best scenario for listening to Colours. Though they've yet to put out a full-length album, A Lost Youth is a promising start for this British quartet.