“I think we’ve dropped the folkiness now, the folk has well and truly left the building” laughs Jess Hall speaking of her band, Colour The Atlas’ current sound. “But that’s the way we were always heading,” she reassures to clarify the shift as an organic happening. “Our music has grown with us, we started out pretty young and naive and it’s taken a while to really figure things out but we’ve got there now, and I think people who really like our music will see that.” With little hesitation Hall then follows up by stating simply “we want to make music that doesn’t sound like anything else”.
This, in fact, neatly represents Colour The Atlas’ whole objective. When asked of the band’s mission statement, without much thought Hall replies “to make weird ass music that’s not been made before.” However according to the singer it was only after their first two EPs – 2012’s self-titled and 2013’s Building Skyscrapers – and they began working with the group’s unofficial “fifth member,” “the mad musical magician Producer Stu Rowe” in the summer of 2013 that they completely found their sound. Hall hopes that new EP Opaline – out early October – will really announce this newfound identity of Colour The Atlas: “it’s completely different to what people have heard from us before but we feel like this is really our sound. Full of loads of different subtle cultural influences, trip-hop/hip-hop drum beats, lots of vocals and some big ass bass (laughs). Hoping everyone loves it!”
It seems odd that a band that have already accomplished so much are only now claiming to have found themselves. Hall, along with guitarist/vocalist Alex Stone, bassist Andy Vincent and drummer Stef Pysanczyn have compiled an impressive resumé considering their young years which includes signing to Sony RCA and touring with everyone’s favourite dreadlocked singer-songwriter, Newton Faulkner. It is the band’s own headline tour around the UK however that stands out as Hall’s highlight thus far: “I think for us, playing gigs is the most important thing, all we’ve ever wanted to do is write music, and play music, so the tour was an incredible experience. The crowds were beyond anything we’ve ever played to before, and the venues we’re bloody mental, so that was massive for us. Now forever living with tour blues until the next one (laughs)”. With the release of Opaline imminent however it hopefully shan’t be too long until the band get back on the road where they feel they belong.
Colour The Atlas can never be accused of being lazy – in the time in-between putting the finishing touches on Opaline the band have continued to gig, write and recently put in a week at Shrivenham’s own Ladder Factory. “We did a week there working on mainly drums and bass and a few live videos which you’ll hopefully see later on in the year” Hall teased. “It’s an amazing studio, got the best gear, and [in-house producer] Pete really knows what he’s talking about, and it’s so comfortable, in the middle of nowhere, you can really just get stuck into the music with no distraction.”
So where next for Colour The Atlas?
“After the EP release hopefully we’ll get touring, travel the country and hopefully other ones too, another EP start of next year and then I think it’s about time we did an album!”