by tom johnson
Picture a band born-and-bred in the DIY spaces of Bushwick, who wrote and then subsequently self-recorded and self-produced their debut record and, somewhat refreshingly, it probably wouldn’t sound anything like Color Tongue’s gleaming debut record, Sprouts;released tomorrow but streaming in full on this very page for your discovery and enjoyment today.
While the tendency just now is for those kind of albums to jump aboard the Alex G train, Color Tongue’s effort is a dizzying hybrid of colour and tone, the kind of psych-pop landscape that swirls all around the listener, never once allowing itself to settle but still retaining a strong sense of comfort and belonging throughout. And so there are restless, reckless bouts of fizzy pop music (‘Sprouts’) all flailing bouts of percussion and ooh-ooh-ooh vocal warblings, and even more forceful unravellings (the mighty crunch of ‘Atoms Apple’), but then there’s the flip-side too, the more restrained, spaced-out jams that lend the record an altogether more adventurous element.
Perhaps what’s even more impressive is the fact that the band record the entire thing in just a handful of days, last summer. “I think we did pretty much all of the music in one or two takes. I bet you can hear some bleed from other bands practicing if you listen close enough,” says Eddie Kuspiel, of the record’s origins and development. “We took all the instrumental tracks and brought them back to our apartment. That’s were we really started messing around with some fun ideas like alien voices…kids playing in the street, and then sporadically throughout the record you hear our dog Thunder hearing the doorbell ring and going nuts…we decided to leave that in because it’s a pretty honest reflection of the situations we had to make the album under.”
Sharp, valiant, and often far heavier than you’re initially expecting, ‘Sprouts’ might be the capturing-of-a-moment, but the band’s intrepid vision means that it always feels far greater than the sum of its parts. A defiantly audacious effort, with a razor-sharp wit always ready to leap in to a view; you can stream the whole thing below right now.
Sprouts is released tomorrow – August 12th