Premiere: Meet colourblind and their roaring new single, Seatbelt
Set to support Slowly Slowly around the country later this year, the group are a cutting edge addition to Adelaide's music scene.
Header image by Nick Astanei.
We've spoken about the rich indie and rock-adjacent scene in Adelaide a few times over the years, often when spotlighting acts that have broken out of the city's tightly-connected but relatively isolated bubble (which, as we've found in Perth as well, comes with being a fair distance apart from the Melbourne/Sydney music hubs). In the last six months, this surgence of high-tier 'acts of tomorrow' from Adelaide hasn't slowed down whatsoever, and with acts like colourblind making themselves known every week, we doubt it's going to disappear anytime soon - if ever, that is.
Colourblind are a name that may already be familiar to those having explored Adelaide's rock-ier worlds in the past, with the group's debut EP - 2018's Move Like You - a melting pool of sorts for a range of genres and sounds, plucking influences from punk, hardcore, indie, shoegaze, alt-rock and beyond; the wide-ranging influences washed over with a distinctly DIY-esque shading that's become somewhat of a selling point for the group in their rapid rise. On the live stage, they've become a blossoming force too, supporting everyone from Bugs and Savior to TOWNS and Horror My Friend - another nod to their versatile, constantly-shifting sound.
Today, we're premiering a single which really highlights everything we've come to love from colourblind over the years, with Seatbelt once again proving why they're an act you should be keeping an eye on within 2020. It's a roaring, guitar-centred tune that focuses more-so on the emo-tinged alt-rock side of their work, layering together crashing drums and pacing guitar melodies to form an underlay for anthemic vocals to dance over the top. It's an exploration of the central point between a range of genres, and that's exactly what colourblind are all about, and something they're keen to showcase through their work beyond their debut EP.
Diving deeper, you get the sense that Seatbelt's charging sound is reflective of something darker in its lyricism, with the band's quick-firing pace almost reminiscent of the feeling of running away from something; the emo fringing of their past work really shining through their new single's brooding, almost-claustrophobic rush. "Seatbelt is a song about feeling trapped," the group say on the track. "Trapped in a broken car that’s crumbling around you, trapped in your head, trapped in life..."
There's plenty to dive into here, so jump straight into Seatbelt below, and better introduce yourself to the group while you're at it:
Tell us about yourself?
We’re colourblind. A 4-piece alternative rock band from the north-western suburbs of Adelaide, South Australia. We’re a group of friends that has turned into family over the past 3 years. We started out in Finn’s spare room covering our favourite bands of the time. Bands like Basement, Title Fight, Citizen and Tigers Jaw were our main collective influences at the time. We were all really young when we started and have done a lot of growing up together since, and we like to think that this is reflected in our music and presence.
What’s the ‘vibe’ music-wise?
I think we all find writing and performing music cathartic, and use it as a bit of an escape. Channelling all that angst and energy into the music gives us our sound. We’re really just alt-rock with a tonne of passion. We definitely have our roots in punk and hardcore but try to use elements these in our ethos and the way we function in our local scene more than our songwriting.
What are your production and writing processes usually like?
Our songs usually start from a loose structure brought by Finn or Jayden, generally in the form of a guitar demo with or without lead vocal. From there we write everything together in a practice space in Port Adelaide. We find this the best way to make sure every song is a colourblind song, and the finished product is something we all contributed to and something that we can all be proud of. We’re also all massive fans of live music, so our songs are definitely written with the performance in mind. It makes the most sense to write them as we’d actually play them on stage.
Can you tell us about your new single, Seatbelt?
Seatbelt is a song about feeling trapped. Trapped in a broken car that’s crumbling around you, trapped in your head, trapped in life. It sets to capture the absolute frustration of powerlessness that comes with growing up. I wish the song had a positive message but it doesn’t. It contains the dark and somewhat childish thought patterns associated with mental health issues. That relief could only possibly come from running away. Or listening to the voices in your head telling you to drive your car into a lake.
What does 2020 have in store for you?
Obviously 2020 has not gone exactly according to plan for us, as with most other musicians out there! We were actually going to be on tour with Slowly Slowly and Bakers Eddy this month, but fortunately that’s been rescheduled to October and November. We love touring and meeting new people so we think that’s going to be a really rewarding experience for us. We also have another single recorded, and another EP-or-so’s worth of songs written, and we’re hoping to get into the studio at some point over the winter to record some more of the music we have finished off. We are absolutely itching to play some live music, so when the restrictions are lifted we’re so excited to put on some great shows for our friends at home and people interstate.
What do you want people to take away from the project?
We hope colourblind provides people with some catharsis and release through our music. We are strongly community orientated and if we can leave one mark on music at large, we would like to enable people to see the value of building strong communities around music that are safe and accessible spaces for everyone.
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