ALBUM REVIEW: Crooked Colours – Langata

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Words by Emily Hollitt.

Crooked Colours ‘Langata’ is a great album from start to finish. I wouldn’t expect anything less from a piece of work created with the help of Tim Watts and David Wrench, who have worked with some of my favourite acts on the scene including FKA Twigs and Frank Ocean. It is less a collection of songs and more of an overall experience. Any song on the album could fit into a montage in any film, when the character’s a little buzzed, moving between clubs through a fish-eye lens camera. Euphoric. Distorted. It makes you want to dance as much as it makes you want to listen. And I mean really listen. Listen to the point where you are inside yourself, your memories, your past, and in every emotion you bury deep down into yourself.

The tracks find a way to sound trippy and distorted, yet calming and danceable all at the one time. Crooked Colours have successfully created an artful sonic landscape and experience alongside lyrics which are presented with such softness and intimacy they provide the perfect mirror inside the human condition. The album opens with I’ll Be There, drawing the listener in with a driving beat and a deep bass you can almost feel. The energy is almost not matched by the intimacy of the delivery of the vocals, a sentiment which is congruent with the whole album. This notion is continued with following track Do It Like You, this time opening with acoustic guitar, mixing live instrumentation with the synthetic sounds. Lines like “I never knew nobody that could change me, make me new. I never knew nobody that could break me, like you do” explore love and control and complete submission to another person. “I knew someday love would take me” summarises this feeling pretty damn well.

Following track Heartstring begins with a feeling of nostalgia; “We spent the ‘90’s dancing, through frivolous romancing”, immediately putting both the artist and the audience into the past to a point of complete euphoria. “I’ll dance just like you showed me”– there’s always another character or reference to some type of relationship, leading straight back to the central theme; connectivity. The beat and the bass drive the song, almost combining the feeling of nostalgia with a sense of urgency or adrenaline, leading up to what might be the greatest drop on the album. The next track  Just Breathe, is enticing, seemingly inviting the listening into a new relationship, edging you to “Be a part of something”, meanwhile also solidifying itself as the perfect addition to any party playlist. I C Light takes a trip into a more insecure state, “I want to be somebody, I want to feel good about myself”. The instrumentation grows darker and more bass oriented as a deep robot voice beckons a mantra beneath the softer chorus lyrics. This track was an album highlight for me.

Single Hold On follows, beckoning for more connectivity with lyrics “Cause part of me needs part of you” and “When I think of you I feel alive”. This track has one of the most danceable drops on the album. Title track Langata takes you on to what feels like some incredible, distorted exotic holiday. The words are almost muttered to the point of not being understood, but done deliberately, feeling uncomfortably relaxed against the upbeat backing track. There were only a few lines I could make out clearly on the first listen; “I feel so lonely”,I hold you close”, “Show you love”, “Stay all night”, I hold on”.

Duet with New Zealand’s own Ladyhawke, most famously known for her 2008 hit My Delirium, Never Dance Alone explores loneliness through eloquently delivered lyrics “When I needed you to come homeI never found the words to say. It’s been building up for so long, boy. You’ll never dance alone.”. Through varying a simple verse, the track explores isolation, longing, dependency and the need for human connection, yet this is backed by a beat that despite it all still makes you want to groove. Prefacing track Mirror Ball seems to usher the same idea of loneliness, “Cause all I’ve been doing girl is waiting for you”, the similar sentiments gelling the two tracks together nicely.

Lose Someone leaves you at the album’s end, thinking of the ones who got away; or the ones you never had at all with standout lyrical moments, including the line “sometimes you have to spend the time to feel something but you… you walk around my mind”. The unstable phrasing of the verses against the cool and steady beat as if  to give the impression that the verses are flowing out as a series of undisciplined thoughts. This is the perfect end to the album, which seems to stand as an analysis of life and love and loss and discovery and every feeling in between. ‘Langata’ is a walk into the deepest crevices of our memories, to seek out the source of our loneliness, our longing and our inherit need for connectivity. It is danceability clouding a beautiful sadness and longing found only from a very deep love. It is a collection of problems we all have, yet feel suffocatingly isolated in. And Crooked Colours have done everything I believe they planned to do with this album- make something that forces you to feel something. And find a way to dance through it all.

‘Langata’ is available on all platforms May 17th. In the meantime, you can pre-order HERE.

The ‘Langata’ Australia and New Zealand Tour kicks off on the 26th of April with thanks to Falcona, Select Music, Sweat It Out, Triple J and Endeavour Live.

Crooked Colours tour art Mar 2019

Fri 17 May | METROPOLIS, Fremantle WA | 18+ | *with special guests Nyxen and Kayex

Tickets available from | 1300 762 545 | All Oztix Outlets

Sat 18 May | THE TIVOLI, Brisbane QLD | 18+ | *with special guest Kayex

Tickets available from

Sun 19 May | COOLANGATTA HOTEL, Coolangatta QLD | 18+ | *with special guests Nyxen and Kayex

Tickets available from | 1300 762 545 | All Oztix Outlets

Fri 24 May | ENMORE THEATRE, Sydney NSW | LIC/AA | *with special guests Nyxenand Kayex

Tickets available from | 132 849 | All Ticketek Outlets

Sat 25 May | THE FORUM THEATRE, Melbourne VIC | 18+ | *with special guests Nyxen and Kayex *SOLD OUT

Tickets available from

Sun 26 May | THE FORUM THEATRE, Melbourne VIC | 18+ | *with special guests Nyxen and Kayex

Tickets available from

Fri 31 May | MEOW, Wellington NZ | 18+ | *with special guests Claye and Joise Moon

Tickets available from

Sat 1 June | GALATOS, Auckland NZ | 18+ | *with special guests Claye and Imugi

Tickets available from

Fri 7 June | UC REFECTORY, Canberra ACT | 18+ | *with special guests Nyxen and Kayex

Tickets available from | 1300 GET TIX | All Moshtix Outlets

Sat 8 June | UNI BAR, Wollongong NSW | 18+ | *with special guests Nyxen and Kayex

Tickets available from | 1300 GET TIX | All Moshtix Outlets

Sun 9 June | CAMBRIDGE HOTEL, Newcastle NSW | 18+ | *with special guests Nyxenand Kayex

Tickets available from | 1300 GET TIX | All Moshtix Outlets

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